Andrew T Jebb and Peter Q Pfordresher (2016)
Exploring Perception–Action Relations in Music Production: The Asymmetric Effect of Tonal Class
Journal of Experimental Psychology, 42:658-670.
When playing musical passages, performers integrate the pitch content of auditory feedback with current action plans. However, this process depends on the degree to which the musical structure of the feedback melody is perceived as similar to the structure of what is planned. Four experiments reported here explored the relationship between the tonal class of planned melodies (tonal or atonal) and the sequence of events formed by auditory feedback. Participants produced short melodies from memory that were either tonal (Experiments 1 and 3) or atonal (Experiments 2 and 4). Auditory feedback matched the planned melody with respect to contour but could vary in tonal class. The results showed that when participants planned a tonal melody, atonal feedback was treated as unrelated to the planned sequence. However, when planning an atonal melody, tonal feedback was still treated as similar to the planned sequence. This asymmetric similarity mirrors findings found within the music perception literature and implies that schematic musical knowledge is highly active in determining perception–action relations during music performance.