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date: 24 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The development of auditory perception is examined in relation to (1) identity and location of objects (auditory scene analysis) and (2) musical structure and meaning. Behavioral and brain research converges to indicate that some capacity to process the frequency, pitch, intensity, timbre, location, and timing of sounds is present very early in development, although there is a protracted experience-driven period of plasticity, with adult levels of maturity typically not reached until well in to childhood. Young infants are also able to process aspects of musical structure. At the same time, enculturation to the specific melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic structure of the musical system of a person’s culture depends on the considerable exposure to that musical system experienced by all members of the culture, and intensive musical training affects the speed and degree of that enculturation.

Keywords: auditory perception, music, pitch, rhythm, auditory scene analysis, sound localization, temporal resolution, melody, harmony, meter

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