Four experiments assessed the influence of emergent-level structure on melodic processing difficulty. Emergent-level structure was manipulated across experiments and defined with reference to the Implication-Realization model of melodic expectancy (Narmour, 1990, 1992, 2000). Two measures of melodic processing difficulty were used to assess the influence of emergent-level structure: serial-reconstruction and cohesion ratings. In the serial-reconstruction experiment (Experiment 1), reconstruction was more efficient for melodies with simple emergent-level structure. In the cohesion experiments (Experiments 2-4), ratings were higher for melodies with simple emergent-level structure, and the advantage was generally greater in the presence of simple surface-level structure. Results indicate that emergent-level structure as defined by the model can influence melodic processing difficulty.

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