Beaten by the chord to nail the melody: Influence of metric and irregular submerged dissonance accents on auditory sequence learning
Dynamic attending theory (Jones, 1976; Large & Jones, 1999) suggests that isochronously repeating salient points in time are predictable and facilitate processing by synchronizing attentional oscillations in the brain. By manipulating amount and spacing of such salience, this design attempts to enhance accuracy of reproduced melodies. Salience was introduced by dissonant harmonies. All subjects seemed to get distracted by the harsh sound of dissonance. However, non-musicians seemed to benefit from a regular ¾ meter. More research with larger non-musician samples is needed to investigate how dissonance raises cognitive load but may also function as attentional refresher when predictable.
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