A4 Article in conference proceedings
Unexpected melodic events during music reading: Exploring the eye-movement approach




List of Authors: Penttinen Marjaana, Huovinen Erkki, Ylitalo Anna-Kaisa
Publication year: 2012
Book title *: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition and the 8th Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music
ISBN: 978-960-99845-1-5

Abstract

Two studies examined the eye-movement effects of unexpected 


melodic events during music reading. Simple melodic variants of a 


familiar tune were performed in a temporally controlled setting. In a 


pilot study with five university students, unexpected alterations of the 


familiar melody were found to increase the number of incoming 


saccades to the altered bar and the bar immediately before the 


alteration. The main experiment with 34 music students, incorporating 


several improvements to the experimental design, again showed an 


increase in the number of incoming saccades to the bar before the 


alteration, but no effects in the altered bar itself. In addition, the bar 


following the alteration showed decrease in relative fixation time and 


incoming saccades. These results are discussed with a view to future 


studies in eye-movements in music reading, emphasizing the need for 


more systematic research on truly prima vista performance and, in 


general, temporally controlled music reading. 


Two studies examined the eye-movement effects of unexpected melodic events during music reading. Simple melodic variants of a familiar tune were performed in a temporally controlled setting. In a pilot study with five university students, unexpected alterations of the familiar melody were found to increase the number of incoming saccades to the altered bar and the bar immediately before the alteration. The main experiment with 34 music students, incorporating several improvements to the experimental design, again showed an increase in the number of incoming saccades to the bar before the alteration, but no effects in the altered bar itself. In addition, the bar following the alteration showed decrease in relative fixation time and incoming saccades. These results are discussed with a view to future studies in eye-movements in music reading, emphasizing the need for more systematic research on truly prima vista performance and, in general, temporally controlled music reading. 

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