This paper reports two experiments that test WolpertV (1990) claim that musicians and nonmusicians differ in their memory for melodies because nonmusicians' memory performance reflects a greater use of the timbre dimension to make recognition decisions. In both experiments, listeners were asked to identify which of two test melodies, a target and a distractor, was heard previously. On one half of the trials, the target melody was in the same timbre as the original, and the distractor was in a different timbre. For the other half of the trials, the distractor melody was in the same timbre as the original, and the target melody was in a different timbre. In her earlier study, Wolpert found that nonmusicians' memory for melodies was affected by timbre changes, whereas musicians' memory was not. In the present experiments, we controlled for instruction clarity and brought listener performance down from near perfect. As a result, it was found that timbre changes differentially affected neither musicians' nor nonmusicians' memory for melodies.

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