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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

There has been increasing evidence that occasional singers can carry a tune (e.g., when asked to sing a known song or to imitate single pitches, intervals, and melodies). Occasional singers typically sing accurately, although most lack precision when repeating the same pitch or interval. Proficient singing, as is demonstrated by competent pitch perception and production in the majority, is supported by a complex functional architecture, including perceptual, motor, sensorimotor translation, and memory processes. This architecture is supported by a complex neuronal circuitry; the malfunctioning of components due to brain damage or congenital disorders may lead to poor-pitch singing. Research on singing proficiency in occasional singers still faces challenges regarding the choice of a standard set of measures for assessing abilities and of criteria to tell apart poor from good singers. An approach based on multiple tasks sharing common sets of measures, and with a relative criterion (within a normative group) is favored.

Keywords: singing, pitch perception, pitch production, poor-pitch singing, singing proficiency

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