- Japanese Psychological Research (ISSN:00215368)
- vol.51, no.2, pp.85-95, 2009-05
A global property (i.e., pitch set) of a melody appears to serve as a primary cue for key identification. Previous studies have proposed specific local properties in a melody (e.g., the augmented fourth, the perfect fifth, etc.) that may function as further cues. However, the role of the latter in key identification is controversial. The present study was designed to investigate what kinds of local properties, if any, function as reliable cues for key identification. Listeners were asked to identify keys for 450 melodies that consisted of the same pitch set but differed in sequential constraints. Using multiple discriminant analyses, we evaluated relative contributions of as many kinds of local properties as possible (e.g., single intervals, single pitch classes in each sequential position, etc.). The results showed that, except for the pitch class of the final tone, for which interpretation should be taken cautiously, none of specific local properties examined contributed significantly to key identification. This finding suggests that, contrary to prior findings, key identification is derived from unidentified properties other than the specific local properties.