Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 57, Issue 7, pp 962–970 | Cite as

Perception of relative pitch with different references: Some absolute-pitch listeners can’t tell musical interval names

  • Ken’Ichi Miyazaki


Two experiments were conducted to examine the effect of absolute-pitch possession on relativepitch processing. Listeners attempted to identify melodic intervals ranging from a semitone to an octave with different reference tones. Listeners with absolute pitch showed declined performance when the reference was out-of-tune C, out-of-tune E, or F#, relative to when the reference was C. In contrast, listeners who had no absolute pitch maintained relatively high performance in all reference conditions. These results suggest that absolute-pitch listeners are weak in relative-pitch processing and show a tendency to rely on absolute pitch in relative-pitch tasks.


Music Perception Absolute Pitch Target Tone Journal Ofthe Acoustical Society ofAmerica Relative Pitch 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of HumanitiesNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan

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