Interval Matching by Undergraduate Nonmusic Majors

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Publication Date

Winter 12-1-2000


This article describes the sixth in a series of studies designed to gain a better understanding of factors that may affect pitch matching. Undergraduate nonmusic majors (N = 141) enrolled in a music fundamentals class were classified as uncertain, modulating, or certain singers. They listened to a stimulus tape of descending minor thirds, sung by men in their normal and falsetto registers (G3-E3 and G4-E4, respectively, with G3 (middle C being C4), and to two sine-wave stimuli in the same octaves and attempted to sing back the interval they heard. There were no significant differences in the accuracy of responses to male and sine-wave stimuli or between men and women participants. There were significant differences among singer types, with inaccurate singers being less in tune than either modulating or certain singers. There was a significant interaction of response accuracy between participant sex and stimulus octave. These results differ somewhat from previous research with children, in which stimulus timbre and participant sex were factors.

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