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Re: Height and pitch

I would agree that the relationship between pitch and vertical height
probably has a lot to do music education and expertise. However, I would be
skeptical about this being germane only to western music. In fact, we have
shown that many western listeners without musical training do not have a
good grasp of what "up" and "down" actually mean as they pertain to pitch.

Neuhoff, J.G., Knight, R. & Wayand, J. (2002). Musicians, Non-Musicians, and
the Perception of Pitch Change: Which Way is Up?  Proceedings of the 8th
International Conference on Auditory Display, Kyoto, Japan. 


Also, there is a smaller population of listeners for which any type of
musical training would not appear to provide any benefit.  

I. Peretz, J. Ayotte, R. Zatorre, J. Mehler, P. Ahad, V. Penhune, and B.
Jutras, "Congenital Amusia: A Disorder of Fine-Grained Pitch
Discrimination," Neuron, vol. 33, pp. 185-191, 2002.

John G. Neuhoff
Department of Psychology
The College of Wooster 
Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: 330-263-2475 
Fax: 928-244-5577


> -----Original Message-----
> From: AUDITORY Research in Auditory Perception 
> [mailto:AUDITORY@LISTS.MCGILL.CA] On Behalf Of Andrew D Lyons
> Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 7:39 PM
> Subject: Height and pitch
> Hi,
> I have come across a paper that suggests that the 
> relationship between pitch and vertical height has more to do 
> with western music education than some universal spatial 
> cognitive strategy:
> Walker, R. The effects of culture, environment, age, and 
> musical training on choice of visual metaphors for sound. 
> Perception & Psychophysics, 42(5):491--502, November 1987.
> Can anybody comment on the idea that cultures that are not 
> educated in the western music tradition tend to make random 
> selections in relation to the relationship between pitch and height?
> Cheers
>  ==========================================================
> Andrew D Lyons | Time Space Texture | http://www.tstex.com 
> ==========================================================