+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

The role of symmetry in the good continuation ratings of two-part tonal melodies



The role of symmetry in the good continuation ratings of two-part tonal melodies



Perception and Psychophysics 29(1): 47-55



Subjects (human) heard a series of 2-part melodies, in which each part was a random sequence of 8 pitches or 5 pitches from the diatonic scale. The task was to rate each melody on how well the 2nd part followed the first. It was predicted that the presence of symmetry between the 2 parts would increase the perception of good continuation. In experiment (exp) 1, 2 symmetrical relations, inversion and retrograde, yielded melodies that were more highly rated than the control melodies, which consisted of nominally different parts. A 3rd symmetry, the retrograde inversion, did not enhance good continuation ratings. In exp 2, inversions and retrograde inversions were compared with control melodies, using shorter sequences and pitches with equal durations. Inversions, but not retrograde inversions, were significantly preferred. Apparently, the aesthetic judgment of good continuation depends at least partially on a cognitive analysis of the relation between the melody parts. The positive symmetry effects are further discussed in relation to other studies of symmetry transformations in the contexts of musical sequences and visual arrays.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 044742132

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7243530

DOI: 10.3758/bf03198839


Related references

The role of symmetry in the good continuation ratings of 2 part tonal melodies. Perception and Psychophysics 29(1): 47-55, 1981

Good continuation in dot patterns: A quantitative approach based on local symmetry and non-accidentalness. Vision Research 126: 183-191, 2016

Tonal Organisation in the Perception of Melodies. Psychology of Music 7(1): 3-11, 1979

Recognition of melodies and tonal memory. Journal of Applied Psychology 18(3): 489-490, 1934

Parsing and memorizing tonal and modal melodies. Japanese Psychological Research 46(4): 308-321, 2004

Reproduction of familiar melodies and the perception of tonal sequences. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 61(2): 534-541, 1977

Memory for melodies and tonal sequences a theoretical note. British Journal of Psychology 70(2): 205-210, 1979

Discrimination and recognition of tonal melodies after unilateral cerebral excisions. Neuropsychologia 23(1): 31-42, 1985

Representation and execution of vocal motor programs for expert singing of tonal melodies. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance 32(4): 944-963, 2006

Laterality effects in processing tonal and atonal melodies with affective and nonaffective task instructions. Brain and Cognition 43(1-3): 206-210, 2000

Continuation tapping to triggered melodies: motor resonance effects of melodic motion. Experimental Brain Research 216(1): 51-60, 2012

Self-ratings of creativity, semantic differential ratings, and preferences for polygons varying in complexity, simplicity, and symmetry. Journal of Psychology 81(1st Half): 63-67, 1972

The role of convexity in perceptual completion: Beyond good continuation. Vision Research 39(25): 4244-4257, 1999

The role of convexity in perceptual completion: beyond good continuation. Vision Research 39(25): 4244-4257, 1999

Generation of 1/f noise from a broken-symmetry model for the arbitrary absolute pitch of musical melodies. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 142(5): El490, 2017