[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: musical training and pitch resolution
Here is a good recent study with some very clear empirical data
pertaining to this issue. I love a good anecdote as well as the next
guy, but nothing beats good clean data!!
Hear Res. 2006 Jul 11; [Epub ahead of print]
Influence of musical and psychoacoustical training on pitch discrimination.
Micheyl C, Delhommeau K, Perrot X, Oxenham AJ.
MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, 50 Vassar Street, Bldg 36-758, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA.
This study compared the influence of musical and psychoacoustical
training on auditory pitch discrimination abilities. In a first
experiment, pitch discrimination thresholds for pure and complex tones
were measured in 30 classical musicians and 30 non-musicians, none of
whom had prior psychoacoustical training. The non-musicians' mean
thresholds were more than six times larger than those of the classical
musicians initially, and still about four times larger after 2h of
training using an adaptive two-interval forced-choice procedure; this
difference is two to three times larger than suggested by previous
studies. The musicians' thresholds were close to those measured in
earlier psychoacoustical studies using highly trained listeners, and
showed little improvement with training; this suggests that classical
musical training can lead to optimal or nearly optimal pitch
discrimination performance. A second experiment was performed to
determine how much additional training was required for the
non-musicians to obtain thresholds as low as those of the classical
musicians from experiment 1. Eight new non-musicians with no prior
training practiced the frequency discrimination task for a total of 14h.
It took between 4 and 8h of training for their thresholds to become as
small as those measured in the classical musicians from experiment 1.
These findings supplement and qualify earlier data in the literature
regarding the respective influence of musical and psychoacoustical
training on pitch discrimination performance.