Connecting Chord Progressions with Specific Pieces of Music

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This paper is the Final Draft of the following article: Jimenez, I., & Kuusi, T. (2018). Connecting chord progressions with specific pieces of music. Psychology of Music, 46(5), 716-733. DOI: 10.1177/0305735617721638.

Title: Connecting Chord Progressions with Specific Pieces of Music
Author: Jimenez, Ivan; Kuusi, Tuire
Date: 2018
Abstract: Musicians can conceptualize harmony in terms of its connection to specific pieces of music. However, research appears to indicate that harmony plays a relatively unimportant role in music identification tasks. The present study examines the ability of listeners of varying levels of musical expertise to identify music from chord progressions. Participants were asked to identify well-known classical and pop/rock pieces from their chord progressions, which were recorded using either piano tones or Shepard tones and were played at six transpositional levels. Although musical training and invariance of surface melodic and rhythmic features were found to have an advantageous effect on the identification task, even some non-musicians were able to identify music from chord progressions in conditions of low invariance of surface features. Implications of these results for our understanding of how listeners mentally represent and remember harmony are discussed.
Subject (lcsh): aural skills
memory for harmony
music identification
musical memory
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