The degree of correspondence between the formal description of phrase structure in music and its cognitive representation as revealed by its effects on responses to clicks superimposed on melodies is explored in two experiments. In Experiment 1, using a click localization task, a high degree of correspondence was established, providing evidence for a hierarchical format of the cognitive representation of phrase structure. In Experiment 2, click detection time was measured for a binary and trinary phrase structure of the same length, using two groups of subjects differing in musical competence. The results support a schema-theoretic description of tacit knowledge of phrase structure in music.

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