Processing of Timbre and Rhythm in Musicians and Non-Musicians Academic Article uri icon


  • Expert musicians and non-musicians of similar educational and social class background were compared in two experiments involving perception of timbre and rhythm. In Experiment 1 where dichotic monitoring for the sound of the violin was required, there was a practice effect but no ear or group differences. The rhythm monitoring experiment produced a group by ear interaction with musicians faster on the right ear than the left and faster than non-musicians on the right ear only. Analysis of strategies reported by subjects showed that verbal labelling did not apparently influence laterality. Lack of evidence for individual laterality effects reinforces the claim that with stringent experimental and subject controls there is minimal evidence for musicians non-musician laterality effects.

publication date

  • September 1988

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