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Absolute memory for music: Comparative replication studies of the "Levitin effect" in six European laboratories


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Schlemmer, Kathrin ; Fischinger, Timo ; Frieler, Klaus ; Müllensiefen, Daniel ; Lothwesen, Kai Stefan ; Jakubowski, Kelly:
Absolute memory for music: Comparative replication studies of the "Levitin effect" in six European laboratories.
Veranstaltung: 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC) and 8th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM), 23.-28.7.2012, Thessaloniki, Griechenland.
(Veranstaltungsbeitrag: Kongress/Konferenz/Symposium/Tagung, Vortrag)


Text (Abstract des Vortrags)
Veröffentlichungsstatus: Angenommene Version

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When analysing human long term memory for musical pitch, relational memory is commonly distinguished from absolute memory. The ability of most musicians and non-musicians to recognize tunes even when presented in a different key suggests the existence of relational music memory. However, findings by Levitin (1994) point towards the additional existence of absolute music memory. In his sample, the majority of non absolute pitch possessors could produce pitch at an absolute level when the task was to recall a very familiar pop song recording. Up to now, no replication of this study has been published. The aim of this paper is to present the results of a replication project across six different European labs. All labs used the same methodology, carefully replicating the experimental conditions of Levitin’s study. In each lab, between 40 and 60 participants (primarily university students with different majors, musicians and non-musicians) were tested. Participants recalled a pop song that they had listened to very often, and produced a phrase of this song. The produced songs were recorded, analysed regarding pitch, and compared with the published original version. Preliminary results suggest that participants show a tendency to sing in the original key, but a little flat. The distribution of the data is significantly not uniform, but more spread out than Levitin’s data. The distributions differ significantly between the three labs analysed so far. Our replication study supports basically the hypothesis that there is a strong absolute component for pitch memory of very well-known tunes. However, a decline effect of results could be observed as well as other effects to be discussed.

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Publikationsform:Veranstaltungsbeitrag (unveröffentlicht): Kongress/Konferenz/Symposium/Tagung, Vortrag
Schlagwörter:Gedächtnis für Musik, absolutes Gehör, Replikationsstudien, Musikrezeption
Institutionen der Universität:Philosophisch-Pädagogische Fakultät > Musik > Professur für Musikwissenschaft
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Titel an der KU entstanden:Ja
Eingestellt am: 08. Aug 2012 07:29
Letzte Änderung: 12. Sep 2012 19:54
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