Perception of musical pitch varies across cultures

Eduardo Undurraga, an assistant at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile,

Eduardo Undurraga, an assistant at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, runs a musical pitch perception experiment with a member of the Tsimane’ tribe of the Bolivian rainforest. Image: Josh McDermott

How people interpret musical notes depends on the types of music they have listened to, researchers find. The researchers found to "match a note to the same note in a different octave, is not really all that natural. It’s a skill we got from being surrounded by music in which the octave is an important element."


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