I am looking for studies or meta-studies in which it has been systematically explored how two presented pieces of music (two rhythms, two melodies, two chords) may deviate such that test persons do perceive them as essentially the same, i.e. "recognize" them (without having to be able to name them)?

The deviations may be simple and intra-modal:

  • minor vs. major intervals (in melodies and chords)
  • otherwise slightly deviating intervals
  • transposition (of melodies and chords)
  • speed (of melodies and rhythms)
  • single vs. double dotting (in rhythms)

Or the deviations may be more complex and/or cross-modal:

  • How does deviation in rhythm affect the recognition of melodies?
  • How does deviation in chords or accompaniment affect the recognition of melodies?
  • How does deviation in melody affect the recognition of rhythms?
  • How do variation and coloratura affect the recognition of melodies?

In both cases the studies might ask: Which kinds of deviations at which crucial locations (inside the piece of music) or with which frequency of occurrence affect their recognition (by individual test persons)?

My question is a reference request: Where do I find such a study or meta-study? Are there "classical" studies?

  • Unfortunately, requests for external resources are off topic here. :) The questions are interesting though. Jan 20, 2020 at 10:07
  • @piiperiReinstateMonica: Could you nevertheless give me a hint - to a study or to a music-related forum that fits better? Jan 20, 2020 at 10:16
  • 1
    Sorry, no. You could start by getting hold of the sources listed on Wikipedia's page on amusia or some other related concept, and then expanding your search to the sources cited in them. Even if a study or article cited as source on Wikipedia isn't exactly about what you're looking for, it may have references to other studies about related things, which might be closer to the subject you're after. Jan 20, 2020 at 10:35
  • As I stated in the other question, I think you are better off looking at studies that pursue (Broca) aphasia. The inability to perceive spoken phrases seems to be linked to the inability to perceive music. I do not think you will get much consistency though, as cases of aphasia are (reasonably) poorly documented and rarely go into the realms of music. I would start looking at documented cases of (speech) intonation and rhythm affecting aphasia patients perceiving information. Given the amount of possibilities for the Broca area to be damaged, I do not think you will get a clear understanding.
    – Pyromonk
    Jan 20, 2020 at 11:47
  • 1
    Yes, it does. But it is up to the moderator performing the migration to decide whether comments are still relevant. As part of discussing the question (as is done here in comments), you, or participants on this site, might come to the conclusion it is more relevant elsewhere. At that point either a moderator runs into it and will migrate, or you can flag the question to instantly grab a moderator's attention (which is what I did now). If you don't want to wait, you could also delete this one, and only then repost elsewhere. Jan 20, 2020 at 14:50


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