Previous studies of twelve-tone music suggest that participants can learn a twelve-tone row and identify it in a forced-choice test (Bigand, D’Adamo, & Poulin, 2003; Krumhansl, Sandell, & Sergeant, 1987). However, these findings invite speculation about the extent to which participants were attuning to intervals to complete the task. The present study builds upon these previous experiments by specifically investigating whether participants implicitly attune to repetitive interval patterns embedded in twelve-tone melodies. After passive exposure to a monophonic twelve-tone melody dominated by intervals 1 and 3 (in semitones), musician listeners with no formal training in nontonal music theory demonstrated learning of the frequent intervals (and directed interval pairs) in both forced-choice and ratings tasks. Experiment 2 tested a new group of participants with similar backgrounds, although this time the twelve-tone melody heard in familiarization was predominated with intervals 2 and 5. Participants showed learning of directed interval pairs, but not intervals (possibly due to the more tonal nature of interval successions within familiarization). These findings have pedagogical and analytical implications.
- Received September 30, 2014.
- Accepted March 3, 2015.
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