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You are here: McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind > Publications > Tracking melodic events using joint accent structure.

Mari R Jones and Peter Q Pfordresher (1997)

Tracking melodic events using joint accent structure.

Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 51(4):271-291.

Joint Accent Structure (JAS) is a construct that uses temporal relationships between different accents in a melodic pattern as indices of its complexity. The present study examines the role of different JASs in real time, attending to simple musical events. 39 adults with or without musical training were told to selectively attend to and synchronize finger taps with accents in 2 experiments that examined attentional tracking to musical patterns having a concordant or discordant JAS. Results indicate that tapping was more variable with discordant than with concordant JAS patterns, both with respect to produced inter-accent time periods and with respect to the phase of taps relative to accent onsets. These findings are interpreted in terms of real time attending and its control by event time structure.