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Title: Music Proficiency and Quantification of Absolute Pitch: A Large-Scale Study among Brazilian Musicians
Other Titles: Music Proficiency and Quantification of Absolute Pitch: A Large-Scale Study among Brazilian Musicians
Authors: Leite, Raphael B. C.
Mota-Rolim, Sergio A.
Queiroz, Claudio Marcos Teixeira de
Keywords: Pitch perception;Absolute pitch;Music proficiency;Pitch-naming test;Pitch class;Perfect pitch;Pitch identification
Issue Date: 13-Oct-2016
Citation: Leite RBC, Mota-Rolim SA and Queiroz CMT (2016) Music Proficiency and Quantification of Absolute Pitch: A Large-Scale Study among Brazilian Musicians. Front. Neurosci. 10:447. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2016.00447
Portuguese Abstract: Absolute pitch (AP) is the ability to identify and name the pitch of a sound without external reference. Often, accuracy and speed at naming isolated musical pitches are correlated with demographic, biological, and acoustical parameters to gain insight into the genesis and evolution of this ability in specific cohorts. However, the majority of those studies were conducted in North America, Europe, or Asia. To fill this gap, here we investigated the pitch-naming performance in a large population of Brazilian conservatory musicians (N = 200). As previously shown, we found that the population performance was rather a continuum than an “all-or-none” ability. By comparing the observed distribution of correct responses to a theoretical binomial distribution, we estimated the prevalence of AP as being 18% amongst regular music students. High accuracy thresholds (e.g., 85% of correct responses) yielded a prevalence of 4%, suggesting that AP might have been underestimated in previous reports. Irrespective of the threshold used, AP prevalence was higher in musicians who started their musical practice and formal musical education early in life. Finally, we compared the performance of those music students (average proficiency group) with another group of students selected to take part in the conservatory orchestra (high proficiency group, N = 30). Interestingly, the prevalence of AP was higher in the latter in comparison to the former group. In addition, even when the response was incorrect, the mean absolute deviation from the correct response was smaller in the high proficiency group compared to the average proficiency group (Glass’s delta: 0.5). Taken together, our results show that the prevalence of AP in Brazilian students is similar to other non-tonal language populations, although this measure is highly dependent on the scoring threshold used. Despite corroborating that early involvement with musical practice and formal education can foster AP ability, the present data suggest that music proficiency may also play an important role in AP expression.
Appears in Collections:ICe - Artigos publicados em periódicos

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