Reference : Pitch matching, melodic singing, and vocal-motor control
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Theoretical & cognitive psychology
Pitch matching, melodic singing, and vocal-motor control
Hutchins, Sean []
Larrouy-Maestri, Pauline mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Psychologie : cognition et comportement > Logopédie des troubles de la voix >]
Peretz, Isabelle []
Society for Music Perception and Cognition - SMPC2013
du 8 au 11 août 2013
[en] Poor singing ability can be caused by poor pitch perception or by poor vocal-motor control. Many prior studies have tried to examine this relationship, but one factor that often fails to be taken into account is the timbre of the target to be matched. Here, we compare accuracy in instrumental and vocal pitch matching paradigms, designed such that each participant’s own voice serves as both the target and the response.
Participants (nonmusicians) matched their previously recorded voice on a slider, designed to play back their voice at different pitch levels depending on the location of a finger press on a continuous dimension. They also matched single pitches with their voice, and sang a familiar melody (“Happy Birthday”) for comparison to the single pitch matching tasks. The nonmusicians were significantly better at instrumental pitch matching than vocal pitch matching, indicating that vocal-motor control is an important limiting factor on singing ability. There were significant correlations between the melodic singing ability and vocal pitch matching, but not instrumental pitch matching. People with higher quality voices tended to be more accurate with pitch in melodies. These results demonstrate that single pitch matching tasks can be useful in measuring general singing abilities, and further confirm the importance of vocal-motor control in determining singing ability.

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