Current Studies

Contour and Interval

This study examines memory for changes in melodies. Participants will hear a series of brief melodies, and then try to notice changes in them when they hear them again.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled “Bear Back” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 1 credit towards participation. We are currently recruiting all participants with and without music training.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected].

Perception of Key Changes

This study examines how we perceive key changes—modulations—in Western classical music. Participants will hear a series of brief excerpts of classical music that often contain changes of key. When they hear a change of key, they will press a button.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled “Sherlock Bear” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 1 credit towards participation. We are currently recruiting all participants with and without music training.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected].

Time Course of Key Emergence

This study investigates the time we take to perceive key changes—modulations—in music using the “cutting-edge” concurrent probe-tone technique (see Toiviainen & Krumhansl, 2003). Participants will hear excerpts of melodies in one ear and in the other ear, a constant tone. They will rate continuously how well the tone matches the melody. By rating all 12 possible probe tones with a given melody, participants create a profile of the tonal hierarchy of that melody.

The study involves testing in three sessions—at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester. Participants include UT Dallas orchestra members, music majors from the Southern Methodist University (SMU), and non-orchestra participants with and without music training. The purpose is to understand some of the dynamics of orchestra players’ learning of a new piece in comparison with non-orchestra musicians and nonmusicians.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled "Bear Orchestra: Sessions 1 & 2" through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 3 credits towards participation at the end of the third session. Please check eligibility requirements for participation on Sona Systems.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected].

Wrong Notes in Melodies

Study 1

This is a cross-cultural study that investigates how Western and non-Western music teachers, students, and untrained but avid listeners identify wrong notes in culturally familiar and unfamiliar music. Participants will hear excerpts of popular Western and non-Western melodies and will identify the wrong notes embedded in them. The aim is to see what features of wrong notes lead them to be identified rapidly and accurately.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled, “Khers and Kuma (Bear and Bear)” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 1 credit towards participation. We are currently recruiting native Persian, Japanese, and American participants with and without music training.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected].

Study 2

The purpose of this study is to determine how musically trained and untrained listeners become familiar with melodies and then perceive wrong notes in them. This study involves four sessions, 2 sessions per week for 2 consecutive weeks. All sessions involve familiarizing with the melodies. The last session will additionally involve identifying wrong notes in the melodies.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled, “Bear-ly Remember” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 4 credits by the end of the study. We are currently recruiting all participants with and without music training.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected].

Memory for Rhythm

This is a cross-cultural study that examines memory for rhythmic patterns played on a South Indian percussion instrument called “mridangam”. Participants will hear pairs of excerpts of rhythmic patterns and will indicate whether they are identical.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled, “Bear Beats” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 1 credit towards participation.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected].

Carnātic Music and Parkinson’s Disease

This is a longitudinal study that investigates the effects of rhythm and melody on cognitive and motor abilities of participants with Parkinson’s disease. The study will provide evidence on whether brief exposure to solo rhythmic patterns played on Carnātic (South Indian classical) percussion instruments “thavil” and “mridangam,” as well as when combined with melodic patterns will facilitate performance on simple cognitive and motor tasks.

This study is conducted off campus.

For more information, please email [email protected] or [email protected].

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