Music Perception

In: Psychology

Submitted By sklmnop
Words 909
Pages 4
Forms of Music Perception

Sara K. Lane

Psych 422, Section 2

Chris Pagano, Instructor

April 16, 2010

The first article that I read, “The Role of Melodic and Temporal Cues in Perceiving Musical Meter”, discusses what features people use to perceive musical meter. According to Hannon & Snyder (2004), meter is a “perceptual and conceptual organization of periodically alternating strong and weak beats that is superimposed on the musical surface”. Meter is not only a physical factor of music but is also a construct in the listener’s brain. One of the main questions that the experimenters had was how people perceive a meter when they are listening to a song for the first time and how people perceive meter in the course of development. The main goal of the experiment was to relate the perceptions that the listeners had on metrical structure to different accent types that come from melodic and temporal patterns in brief melodies. The authors explained the different types of accents in great detail so that their experiments could be fully understood. According to the article, an accent is an increase in the perceptual importance of a musical event that happens when the event differs in some way from other events that are going on at the same time. There are different types of accents in music. Two important kinds of accents that act as cues to meter are dynamic accents, which are a result of a change in intensity, and temporal accents, which are emphasized changes in duration and grouping position. While these accents are important, pitch accents are also important because they create points that draw attention. There are two different kinds of pitch accents – interval accent and contour accent. An interval accent occurs when a pitch is considerably higher or lower than the pitches before and after it. A contour accent occurs…...

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