Melodically accented tones are perceived as having higher intensity. Subjects judged whether or not all of the tones in a sequence were of equal intensity. Melodic accents were created by pitch skips, and the intensity of the tones that followed the skips was manipulated. Introduction of the melodic accents reduced detection of lower intensity tones more than it reduced the detection of higher intensity tones. This effect did not change as a result of regular or irregular timing of the tones whose intensity was manipulated. Contrary to results from an earlier experiment in which listeners tried to detect variations in timing, placement of the melodic accents at regular intervals did not lead to poorer detection than did irregular placement of the melodic accents. It is concluded that perception of the gaps that separate rhythmic groups may have a different nature different from the perception of elements within groups.


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