Music Perception: Current Research and Future Directions

  • Mari Riess Jones
Part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research book series (SHAR, volume 36)


In the rich tradition of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research series, the present volume continues to provide an accessible overview of a relatively new field of psychoacoustic and hearing research. The field of central interest in this volume involves perception of musical sound patterns. In keeping with the goals of the Handbook, it presents a set of chapters that reflect the current status of scientific scholarship related to music perception. Each chapter aims at synthesizing a range of findings associated with each of several major research areas in the field of music perception. Thus, topics central to this field involve pitch perception, responses to harmony/tonality, tempo and rhythm, emotion and music, and finally melody ­recognition. These chapters have been crafted to present conceptual, but not necessarily exhaustive, reviews of research addressing the major issues in the field of music perception. The dominant issues, hypotheses, and theories that drive research within each topical area are presented along with relevant experimental findings. The aim is to introduce this growing research area to new investigators and established researchers unfamiliar with music perception scholarship.


Music Perception Absolute Pitch Relative Pitch Gestalt Principle Musical Event 
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.


  1. Bigand E, Tillman B, Poulin, B, D’Adamo DA (2001) The effect of harmonic context on phoneme monitoring in vocal music. Cognition 81:B11–B20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bigand E, Tillman B, Poulin-Charronat B, Manderlier D (2005) Repetition priming: is music special? Q J Exp Psychol 58:1347–1375.Google Scholar
  3. Boltz M (1989) Perceiving the end: Effects of tonal relationships on melodic completion. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 15:749–761.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boltz M, Jones MR (1986) Does rule recursion make melodies easier to reproduce? If not, what does? Cogn Psychol 18:389–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boltz M, Marshburn E, Jones MR, Johnson WW (1985) Serial-pattern structure and temporal-order recognition. Percept Psychophys 37:209–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bregman A (1990) Auditory Scene Analysis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Deutsch D, Feroe J (1981) The internal representation of pitch sequences in the form of hierarchies. Psychol Rev 88:503–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dilley LC, McAuley JD (2008) Distal prosodic context affects word segmentation and lexical processing. J Mem Lang 59:294–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dowling WJ, Fujitani DS (1971) Contour, interval, and pitch recognition in memory for melodies. J Acoust Soc Am 49:524–531.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dowling WJ, Harwood DL (1986) Music Cognition. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  11. Ellis R, Jones MR (2009) The role of accent salience and joint accent structure in meter perception. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 35:264–280.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fitch WT (2006) The biology and evolution of music: A comparative perspective. Cognition 100:173–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Francés R (1958 translated by Dowling WJ 1988) The Perception of Music. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  14. Fraisse P (translated by Leith J 1963) The Psychology of Time. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  15. Holt LL, Kluender KR (2000) General auditory processes contribute to perceptual accommodation of coarticulation. Phonetica 57:179–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Holt LL, Lotto AJ, Kluender KR (2000) Neighboring spectral content influences vowel identification. J Acoust Soc Am 108:710–722.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones MR (1976) Time, our lost dimension: toward a new theory of perception, attention and memory. Psychol Rev 83:323–355.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones MR (1981) A tutorial on some issues and methods in serial pattern research. Percept Psychophys 30:492–504.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jones MR, Boltz M (1989) Dynamic attending and responses to time. Psychol Rev 96:459–491.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jones MR, Ralston J (1991) Some influences of accent structure on melody recognition. Mem Cognit 19:8–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jones MR, Johnston MJ, Puente J (2006) Effects of auditory pattern structure on anticipatory and reactive attending. Cogn Psychol 53:59–96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kidd G, Boltz M, Jones MR (1984) Some effects of rhythmic context on melody recognition. Am J Psychol 97:153–173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Koelsch S, Gunter TC, Wittforth M, Sammler D (2005) Interaction between syntax processing in language and in music: an ERP study. J Cogn Neurosci 17:1565–1579.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Krumhansl CL (1990) Cognitive Foundations of Musical Pitch. New York: Oxford.Google Scholar
  25. Liberman AM, Cooper FS, Shankweiler DP, Studdert-Kennedy M (1967) Perception of the speech code. Psychol Rev 74:431–461.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Magne C, Schön D, Besson M (2006) Musician children detect pitch violations in both music and language better than nonmusician children: behavioral and electrophysiological approaches. J Cogn Neurosci 18:199–211.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Narmour E (1990) The Analysis and Cognition of Basic Melodic Structures. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  28. Nazzi T, Bertoncini J, Mehler J (1998) Language discrimination by newborns: toward an ­understanding of the role of rhythm. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 24:756–766.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nazzi T, Jusczyk PW, Johnson EK (2000) Language discrimination by English-learning 5-month-olds: effects of rhythm and familiarity. J Mem Lang 43:1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Patel A (2008) Music, Language and the Brain. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Quené H, Port RF (2005) Effects of timing regularity and metrical expectancy on spoken-word perception. Phonetica 62:1–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Saffran JR (2003) Statistical language learning: mechanisms and constraints. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 12: 110–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Saffran JR, Johnson EK, Aslin RN, Newport EL (1999) Statistical learning of tone sequences by human infants and adults. Cognition 70:27–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schellenberg EG (1997) Simplifying the implication-realization model of musical expectancy. Music Percept 14: 295–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schmuckler MA, Boltz MG (1994) Harmonic and rhythmic influences on musical expectancy. Percept Psychophys 56:31–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schön D, Gordon RL, Besson M (2005) Musical and linguistic processing in song perception. Ann NY Acad Sci 1060:71–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Seashore CE (1938) The Psychology of Music. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  38. Shepard RN (1982) Geometrical approximations to the structure of pitch. Psychol Rev 89:305–333.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Slevc LR, Rosenberg JC, Patel AD (2009) Making psycholinguistic musical: self-paced reading time evidence for shared processing of linguistic and musical syntax. Psychon Bull Rev 16:374–381.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tillman B, Koelsch S, Escoffier N, Bigand E, Lalitte P, Friederici AD, vonCramon DY (2006) Cognitive priming in sung and instrument music: activation of inferior frontal cortex. NeuroImage 31:1771–1782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wertheimer M (1959) Productive Thinking. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of PsychologyThe Ohio State University and University of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations