A recent series of experiments by Deutsch and co-workers has investigated the perception of musical patterns in which the tones are well defined in terms of pitch class, but poorly defined in terms of pitch height. One of these patterns is known as the "tritone paradox." It has been found that listeners' differing perceptions are significantly correlated both with the linguistic community in which the listener grew up and with the pitch range of the listener's spontaneous speaking voice. To explain these findings, Deutsch has hypothesized that listeners acquire an internal representation of pitch classes based on the prevailing pitch range of speech in their linguistic community and that this representation influences both their perception of the tritone paradox and their speech production. The present paper examines this hypothesis in the light of available data about the pitch of speech as a function of linguistic community. It is concluded that these data are surprisingly consistent with Deutsch's hypothesis.
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Mark Dolson; The Pitch of Speech as a Function of Linguistic Community. Music Perception 1 April 1994; 11 (3): 321–331. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/40285626
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