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Music and Lyrics Interactions and their Influence on Recognition of Sung Words: An Investigation of Word Frequency, Rhyme, Metric Stress, Vocal Timbre, Melisma, and Repetition Priming

Johnson, Randolph B and Huron, David and Collister, Lauren (2013) Music and Lyrics Interactions and their Influence on Recognition of Sung Words: An Investigation of Word Frequency, Rhyme, Metric Stress, Vocal Timbre, Melisma, and Repetition Priming. Empirical Musicology Review, 9 (1). 2 - 2. ISSN 1559-5749

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Abstract

<jats:p>This study investigated several factors presumed to influence the intelligibility of song lyrics. Twenty-seven participants listened to recordings of musical passages sung in English; each passage consisted of a brief musical phrase sung by a solo voice. Six vocalists produced the corpus of sung phrases. Eight hypotheses derived from common phonological and prosodic principles were tested. Intelligibility of lyrics was degraded: (i) when archaic language was used; (ii) when words were set in melismatic rather than syllabic contexts; (iii) when the musical rhythm did not match the prosodic speech rhythm; and (iv) when successive target words rhymed. Intelligibility of lyrics was facilitated: (i) when words contained diphthongs rather than monophthongs; (ii) when a word from an immediately previous passage reappeared; (iii) when a syllabic setting of a word was preceded by a melismatic setting of the same word. No difference in word intelligibility was observed between music theater singers and opera singers.</jats:p>


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Johnson, Randolph B
Huron, David
Collister, Laurenlbcollister@pitt.eduLBC80000-0001-5767-8486
Date: 24 October 2013
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Empirical Musicology Review
Volume: 9
Number: 1
Publisher: The Ohio State University Libraries
Page Range: 2 - 2
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.18061/emr.v9i1.3729
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1559-5749
Date Deposited: 22 May 2014 20:51
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2020 22:56
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21655

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