Current Studies

Sorting Melodies

This is a cross-cultural study that investigates how Western and non-Western music teachers, students, and untrained but avid listeners sort culturally familiar and unfamiliar melodies into clusters based on underlying structural and emotional similarities. The purpose is to determine the criteria that listeners use to sort melodies. This study will provide converging evidence on how listeners use their mental representation of tonal hierarchies to understand the underlying structure of the melodies.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled “Sorta Bear, Sorta Karadi” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 1.5 credits towards participation. Please check eligibility requirements for participation on Sona Systems.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected].

Perception of Key Changes

This study examines how we perceive key changes—modulations—in South Indian classical (Carnātic) and Western classical music. Participants will hear a series of brief excerpts of classical music that often contain changes of key. When they hear a change of key, they will press a button.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled “Sherlock Karadi/Bear” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 1 credit towards participation. Please check eligibility requirements for participation on Sona Systems.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected].

Wrong Notes in Melodies

Study 1

This is a cross-cultural study that investigates how Western and non-Western music teachers, students, and untrained but avid listeners identify wrong notes in culturally familiar and unfamiliar music. Participants will hear excerpts of popular Western and non-Western melodies and will identify the wrong notes embedded in them. The aim is to see what features of wrong notes lead them to be identified rapidly and accurately.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled, “Khers and Kuma (Bear and Bear)” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 1 credit towards participation. We are currently ONLY recruiting native Persian and Japanese participants. Please check other eligibility requirements for participation on Sona Systems.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected].

Study 2

The purpose of this study is to determine how musically trained and untrained listeners become familiar with melodies and then perceive wrong notes in them. This study involves four sessions, 2 sessions per week for 2 consecutive weeks. All sessions involve familiarizing with the melodies. The last session will additionally involve identifying wrong notes in the melodies.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled, “Bear-ly Remember” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 4 credits by the end of the study. We are currently recruiting all participants with and without music training.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected].

Contour and Interval

This study examines memory for changes in melodies. Participants will hear a series of brief melodies, and then try to notice changes in them when they hear them again.

The study is conducted at the UT Dallas Richardson campus, GR 4.808.

Undergraduate students can sign up for the study titled “Bear Back” through utdallas.sona-systems.com and will receive 1 credit towards participation. We are currently recruiting all participants with and without music training.

Interested participants can email [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected].

Carnātic Music and Parkinson’s Disease

This is a longitudinal study that investigates the effects of rhythm and melody on cognitive and motor abilities of participants with Parkinson’s disease. The study will provide evidence on whether brief exposure to solo rhythmic patterns played on Carnātic (South Indian classical) percussion instruments “thavil” and “mridangam,” as well as when combined with melodic patterns will facilitate performance on simple cognitive and motor tasks.

This study is conducted off campus.

For more information, please email [email protected] or [email protected].