Cogprints

Memory for musical tempo: Additional evidence that auditory memory is absolute

Levitin, Daniel J. and Cook, Perry R. (1996) Memory for musical tempo: Additional evidence that auditory memory is absolute. [Journal (Paginated)]

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Abstract

We report evidence that long term memory retains absolute (accurate) features of perceptual events. Specifically, we show that memory for music seems to preserve the absolute tempo of the musical performance. In Experiment 1, 46 subjects sang popular songs from memory, and their tempos were compared to recorded versions of the songs. Seventy-two of the subjects came within 8% of the actual tempo on two consecutive trials (using different songs), demonstrating accuracy near the perceptual threshold (JND) for tempo. In Experiment 2, a control experiment, we found that folk songs lacking a tempo standard generally have a large variability in tempo; this counters arguments that memory for the tempo of remembered songs is driven by articulatory constraints. The relevance of the current findings to theories of perceptual memory and memory for music are discussed.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Subjects:Psychology > Applied Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
ID Code:644
Deposited By:Levitin, Daniel J
Deposited On:26 Apr 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

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