What helps jazz musicians name tunes from harmony?

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This paper is the Final Draft of the following article: Jimenez, I., & Kuusi, T. (2020). What helps jazz musicians name tunes from harmony? The effects of work with harmony on the ability to identify music from chord progressions. Psychology of Music. 48(2), 215-231. DOI: 10.1177/0305735618793005.

Title: What helps jazz musicians name tunes from harmony?
Author: Jimenez, Ivan; Kuusi, Tuire
Date: 2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/319826
Abstract: Research has shown that musical training is associated with a greater ability to aurally connect chord progressions to specific pieces of music. However, it is unclear what specific aspects of musical training contribute to that ability. The present study investigated the effects of various aspects of professional and amateur jazz musicians’ formal training and work with harmony on their ability to identify well-known jazz standards from chord progressions. For participants who were able to identify songs from commercial recordings in this experiment, general long-term involvement with activities believed to increase awareness of harmony, such as playing a harmonic instrument, playing chords by ear, and transcribing harmonic progressions was often not enough to enable them to identify songs from their chord progressions alone. Additionally, the ability to identify songs from chord progressions was most strongly correlated with having played and being able to write out the chord labels of the target pieces from long-term memory. Implications of these and other results of this experiment for our understanding of jazz musicians’ processing and memory of harmonic information are discussed.
Subject (lcsh): chord progressions
episodic memory
memory for harmony
musical training
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