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Kathleen A Corrigall and Laurel J Trainor (2009)

Effects of musical training on key and harmony perception

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169:164-168.

Even adults with no formal music lessons have implicit musical knowledge acquired through exposure to the music of their culture. Two of these abilities are knowledge of key membership (which notes belong in a key) and harmony (chord progressions). Studies to date suggest that perception of harmony emerges around5-6 years of age. Using simple tasks, we found that formal music training influences key and harmony perception in 3- to 6-year-olds, and that even nonmusicians as young as 3 years have some knowledge of key membership and harmony.

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