Identifying Songs from their Piano-Driven Opening Chords
Jimenez, Ivan; Kuusi, Tuire; Czedik-Eysenberg, Isabella; Reuter, Christoph (2021)
Jimenez, I., Kuusi, T., Czedik-Eysenberg, I., & Reuter, C. (2021). Identifying Songs from their Piano-Driven Opening Chords. Musicae Scientiae. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). DOI: 10.1177/10298649211003631.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
It is currently believed that timbre plays a primary role in the identification of songs from very brief excerpts of music. However, its specific contribution, and those of other characteristics of the music, remain unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the contributions of timbre and chord type, voicing, and duration to participants’ ability to identify songs from their opening chords, played on the piano alone or on the piano and one other instrument. Ninety-three participants were asked to identify 20 songs from their opening chords. They were also asked to estimate the similarity between pairs of chords. We evaluated the contribution of 10 characteristics of chords to song identification rates, including brightness, pitch register, and duration, because of their high perceptual salience, and others chosen on the basis of theoretical predictions relating to auditory long-term memory. Song identification rates were associated with the chords’ brightness, familiarity and, to a lesser extent, pitch register, but not participants’ musical background. The results of the study suggest that listeners with and without musical training can identify songs from their opening chords, cued by both their timbral and non-timbral characteristics.