According to Feldman (1993), musical prodigies are expected to perform at the same high level as professional adult musicians and, therefore, are indistinguishable from adults. This widespread definition was the basis for the study by Comeau et al. (2017), which investigated if participants could determine whether an audio sample was played by a professional pianist or a child prodigy. Our paper is a replication of this previous study under more controlled conditions. Our main findings partly confirmed the previous findings: Comparable to Comeau et al.’s (2017) study (N = 51), the participants in our study (N = 278) were able to discriminate between prodigies and adult professionals by listening to music recordings of the same pieces. The overall discrimination performance was slightly above chance (correct responses: 53.7%; sensitivity d’ = 0.20), which was similar to Comeau et al.’s (2017) results of the identification task with prodigies aged between 11 and 14 years (approximately 54.6% correct responses; sensitivity approximately d’ = 0.13). Contrary to the original study, musicians and pianists in our study did not perform significantly better than other participants. Nevertheless, it is generally possible for listeners to differentiate prodigies from adult performers—although this is a demanding task.

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