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Simply Listening To Music Affects One’s Musicality

Date:
August 13, 2008
Source:
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA)
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated how much the brain can learn simply through active exposure to many different kinds of music. “More and more labs are showing that people have the sensitivity for skills that we thought were only expert skills,” Henkjan Honing (UvA) explains. “It turns out that mere exposure makes an enormous contribution to how musical competence develops.”

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) have demonstrated how much the brain can learn simply through active exposure to many different kinds of music. “More and more labs are showing that people have the sensitivity for skills that we thought were only expert skills,” Henkjan Honing (UvA) explains.

“It turns out that mere exposure makes an enormous contribution to how musical competence develops.”* The results were recently presented at the Music & Language conference, organized by Tufts University in Boston, and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Performance and Perception.

The common view among music scientists is that musical abilities are shaped mostly by intense musical training, and that they remain rather rough in untrained listeners, the so-called Expertise hypothesis.

However, the UvA-study shows that listeners without formal musical training, but with sufficient exposure to a certain musical idiom (the Exposure hypothesis), perform similarly in a musical task when compared to formally trained listeners.

Furthermore, the results show that listeners generally do better in their preferred musical genre. As such the study provides evidence for the idea that some musical capabilities are acquired through mere exposure to music. Just listen and learn!

In addition, the study is one of the first that takes advance of the possibilities of online listening experiments comparing musicians and non-musicians of all ages.

*Eichler, J. (2008, July 13), ‘Can’t get it out of my head’, Boston Globe, p. N6.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Honing, H., & Ladinig, O. Exposure influences expressive timing judgments in music. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Performance and Perception, DOI: 10.1037/a0012732

Cite This Page:

Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). "Simply Listening To Music Affects One’s Musicality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813110453.htm>.
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). (2008, August 13). Simply Listening To Music Affects One’s Musicality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813110453.htm
Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA). "Simply Listening To Music Affects One’s Musicality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813110453.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

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