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Chapter 11

PSYB51 Chapter 11

Course Code
Matthias Niemeier

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Chapter 11: Music and Speech Perception
-When we hear pleasant sounding chords preceding a word, we are faster to respond
that a word such as charm is positive, and are slower to respond to a negative word
-Music has deep psychological effects
When people must listen to disagreeable music, their levels of serotonin actually
Blood flow increases in brain regions that are thought to be involved in reward
and motivation
Musical Notes
-One of the most important characteristic of any acoustic signal is frequency
-Brain structures that process sounds are tonotopically organized
-Pitch the psychological aspect of sound related mainly to the fundamental
Tone Height and Tone Chroma
-Octave the interval b/w two sound frequencies having a ratio of 2:1
-The set of notes (scale) used commonly in western music is called “equal
-Musical pitch is typically described as having two dimensions
Tone height a sound quality corresponding to the level of pitch. Tone height is
monotopically related to frequency
Tone chroma a sound quality shared by tones that have the same octave
-We can visualize musical pitch as a helix
-Neurons in the auditory nerve signal frequency both by their location in the chochlea
(place) and by the timing of their firing (temporal)
-For frequencies higher than 5kHz, pitch discrimination becomes appreciably worse
because only place coding can be used
-A sequence of pure tones with frequencies greater than 5kHz does not convey a
melody very well
-Chord a combo of three or more musical notes with different pitches played
-Consonant chords are combos of notes in which the ratios b/w the notes frequencies
are simple
Example: 2:1, 3:2 (perfect fifth), 4:3 (perfect fourth)

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Cultural Differences
-Musical scales and intervals vary widely across cultures
-Infants seem equipped to learn whatever scale is used in their environment

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Making Music
-Melody an arrangement of notes or chords in succession
-A melody is defined by its contour the pattern of rises and declines in pitch
-Even within a single octave, the same melody will be heard from different notes if the
steps between the notes stays the same
The fact that variation in pitch matters more than absolute pitch should remind
us of the rule that all perception is sensitive to change
-Tempo the perceived speed of the presentation of sounds
-We hear nearly all sounds as rhythmic even when they arent
-Bolton in the 1800s played a sequence of identical sounds perfectly spaced in time;
they had no rhythm. but listeners readily reported that the sounds occurred in groups
of 2, 3 or 4
-We are predisposed to group sounds into rhythmic patterns
-Sounds that are longer, louder, and higher in pitch all are more likely to be heard as
leading their group
-”Syncopated auditory polyrhythms” when two diff rhythms are overlapped, their
rhythms collide
When we listen to syncopated polyrythms, one of the 2 rhythms becomes the
dominant rhythm and the other becomes perceptually adjusted to accommodate
the first
The accented beat of the subordinate rhythm shifts in time
-Rhythm is psychological
Melody Development
-Melody is also essential psychological
-8 month old infants can learn melodies
They respond differently to new melodies, thus we can deduce that they had
learned something about the original melodies they heard
-Parents of 7 month olds played a recording of 2 mozart sonata movements
Listeners responded differently to the original move than to similar ones
introduced to them for the first time
-Vocal tract the airway above the larynx used for the production of speech. The
vocal tract includes the oral tract and nasal tract
-One disadvantage of having a lower larynx is that we are more susceptible to
Beyond infancy we cannot swallow and breathe at the same time
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