Psychonomic Science

, Volume 7, Issue 12, pp 421–422 | Cite as

Octave discriminability of musical and non-musical subjects

  • David Allen
Perception and Performance Hearing and Skin Senses


A subjective differential rating technique was used to determine differences in octave discriminability between musical and non-musical male college students. Ss rated 23 test tones to a standard tone by means of a seven point scale on a relative “similarity” criterion. The test frequencies extended two and one-fifth octaves above and below the standard 1,000 Hz tone at equal interval fifths, and were presented for 200 msec each at constant intensity. An analysis of variance performed on the 2 by 2 nested design data indicated highly significant differences between groups at octabe and non-octave test points. A significant interaction substantiates the existence of an “octave effect” with the musical group, and implications of the phenomenon are discussed.


Test Stimulus Tonal Stimulus Test Tone Standard Tone Pitch Discrimination 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Press 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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