Jahrbuch der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Musikpsychologie


Barkowsky, Johannes: Empirische Studie zum Vergleich von Absolut- und Relativhörern.
In: Behne K.-E., Kleinen G., Motte-Haber H. de la (Hrsg.): Musikpsychologie, Empirische Forschungen – Ästhetische Experimente. Band 9. Florian Noetzel Verlag, Wilhelmshaven 1992, Seite 65-81.

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The purpose of the study was to determine the nature of the difference between absolute pitch and relative pitch: Is the difference one of degree, or do absolute pitch and relative pitch represent two autonomous traits? Ten absolute pitch possessors and a cross seetion of 120 music students were administered a prerecorded listening test. The task was to assign chromatic pitch names to individual musical pitches. The pitches in the test were of different duration (1 second, 3 seconds), performed on different instruments (piano, French horn, oboe), and there was either 2 seconds or 5 seconds intermission between two sequent pitches. Musical excerpts were interspersed for tonal reference. The listening test also contained two-tone motives , which had to be identified and remembered after 3 minutes of 79 interference tasks, and it contained pitches whose octave position had to be deterrnined. The absolute pitch possessors correctly named 85 percent of the pitches of the listening test, while the relative pitch possessors correctly narned 10 percent - scantly above chance level. Absolute pitch possessors perforrned better when response time was shorter, relative pitch possessors perforrned better when response time was longer. Relative pitch subjects made judgments in reference to the context tonality, absolute pitch possessors did not. Differences in the cognitive strategies of absolute and relative pitch possessors are concluded.