Samuel Jay Keyser
keyser at MIT.EDU
Mon Nov 28 10:24:48 CST 2005
I wonder if any of you heard the NPR report on a set of Stanford
Univ. experiments which showed that musicians can recognize whether
they are hearing a nonsense syllable "ba" as opposed to "da," for
example, faster than non-musicians?
I haven't seen the relevant article(s) but I surmise that the set-up
for the experiment must have been something like this: You put a
subject in front of a computer with earphones on. Then you feed into
the earphones a set of contrasting syllables like "ba" versus "da"
or "ta" versus "da," etc. The subject is asked to press a button when
he/she recognizes the syllable. Musicians press the button with
accuracy faster than non-musicians. This must mean that musicians
are somehow trained to recognize the relevant cues in the onset of a
sound (whether it musicial or phonological) and thus outperform
non-musicians, even those who are music lovers.
Thought this might be of interest.
More information about the Trombone-l