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Absolute memory for melody : a study with choir singers

Causal Productions
Publication Date
  • Lr Musikwissenschaft - Musica Theoretica - Sachteil Z.B. Instrumente
  • Ensembles
  • Systematische Musikwissenschaft
  • Musicology


A number of recent recognition and production studies using classical music, pop songs, and folk songs suggest that longterm memory retains more than only relational information on stored melodies: Non-musicians and non-AP-possessors seem to be able to recall absolute pitches and absolute tempo. Here, choir singers were tested on memory for the key of wellrehearsed pieces. Two groups of participants were asked to reproduce choir-pieces from memory 5 and 10 months after the concert, respectively. Results support the notion of accurate starting pitches being stored in long-term memory.

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