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Poster B9

Your voice is music to my ears

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

shlomo frige1 (, Bruno Gingras; 1Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2Innsbruck, Austria

Comparative studies of music and speech perception suggest that prosodic and musical features, such as melodic contour, dynamics and rhythm, function analogously, providing comparable structural and expressive cues in the two domains. Here, we explore these functional analogies using a novel music production paradigm. In Experiment 1, 17 professional pianists were asked to improvise along two readings of a poem: a slower, softer version (Reading 1), and a faster, louder one (Reading 2). We hypothesized that improvisations based on each reading would differ both along acoustic parameters common to speech and music (such as sound intensity) and along exclusively musical features (such as mode). As hypothesized, improvisations based on Reading 2 displayed acoustic parameters more similar to those observed for Reading 2 than for Reading 1. Improvisations also differed along dimensions not directly comparable to speech parameters. For instance, improvisations based on Reading 1 predominantly used the minor mode, while those based on Reading 2 were generally in major. Results suggest that musicians recreate affective and structural dimensions of speech both by emulating prosodic features and through exclusively musical means, conceived as functionally analogous to prosodic features. In Experiment 2, we tested whether naive listeners would respond differently, in terms of felt emotions, to the improvisations produced for each reading in Experiment 1. Listeners rated improvisations based on Reading 1 as significantly less arousing and pleasant than those based on Reading 2, suggesting that musicians had effectively captured the salient prosodic features of the readings and transduced them into music.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotional responding


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April 13–16  |  2024