Effects of melodic accents on perception of intensity

Tekman, HG
Melodically accented tones are perceived as having higher intensity. Subjects judged whether or not all of the tones in a sequence were of equal intensity. Melodic accents were created by pitch skips, and the intensity of the tones that followed the skips was manipulated. Introduction of the melodic accents reduced detection of lower intensity tones more than it reduced the detection of higher intensity tones. This effect did not change as a result of regular or irregular timing of the tones whose intensity was manipulated. Contrary to results from an earlier experiment in which listeners tried to detect variations in timing, placement of the melodic accents at regular intervals did not lead to poorer detection than did irregular placement of the melodic accents. It is concluded that perception of the gaps that separate rhythmic groups may have a different nature different from the perception of elements within groups.


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In an experiment on the effect of intensity accents on the perception of time intervals between tones, H. G. Tekman (2001) found that the regular placement of deviant time intervals in short sequences of tones reduced detection, especially if intensity accents marked the deviant time intervals. That was the opposite of what one would have expected on the basis of the dynamic attending theory of M. R. Jones (1976). The effect might have occurred because temporally deviant tones create cumulative onset shifts...
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Citation Formats
H. Tekman, “Effects of melodic accents on perception of intensity,” MUSIC PERCEPTION, pp. 391–401, 1998, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/63676.