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Sandra E Trehub, Leigh A Thorpe, and Laurel J Trainor (1990)

Infants' perception of good and bad melodies

Psychomusicology, 9(1):5-19.

Exposed 30 healthy infants (aged 7–10 mo) to repetitions of 1 of 3 melodies in transposition, the 3 melodies exhibiting different degrees of conformance to Western music structure. One was a good Western melody, consisting of notes from the diatonic scale; another was a bad Western melody with notes drawn from the chromatic scale but not from any single diatonic scale; and the third was a bad non-Western melody with notes not drawn from the chromatic scale. Ss discriminated a semitone change in the context of the good Western melody but not the bad Western or the bad non-Western melody.