ASA 125th Meeting Ottawa 1993 May

5aMU6. Abstraction of musical tonality.

Willi R. Steinke

Lola L. Cuddy

Ronald R. Holden

Dept. of Psychol., Queen's Univ. at Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada

Data were collected from 100 subjects for a series of music tests and standardized tests of intelligence and cognitive abstraction. Music tests focused on abstraction of tonality. Three tests employed the probe-tone technique [C. L. Krumhansl and E. J. Kessler, Psych. Rev. 89, 334--368 (1982)] for both harmonic and melodic materials. Four other tests collecting tonality ratings with melodic sequences and chord progressions were constructed for this study. The subject sample comprised the following ranges: age (18--40 years); general education (7--22 years); music education (none to professional). Results confirmed the reliability of the probe-tone technique. Results for all music tests were significantly intercorrelated and significantly correlated with music theoretic predictions. Amount of music training, but not level of general intellectual functioning or level of general education, was implicated in the subject's responses to music tests. [Work supported by NSERC.]