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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Melodic Fission in Trance Music: The Perception of Interleaved Vocal and Non-Vocal Melodies


While many studies have examined melodic fission of familiar and unfamiliar interleaved Western melodies, melodic fission in trance music, an electronic dance music genre, has not yet been studied.  Melodic material is relatively constant throughout a trance song, while timbre, texture, and dynamics vary over time.  In this study, participants listened to several clips of trance music with two or more competing melodic lines and evaluated which were melodic and harmonic.  Answers were based primarily on how conjunct each line was, although some disjunct lines were segregated into two streams.  Lyrical content, rhythmic simplicity, past musical training, familiarity with the genre, and connections drawn to other genres further affected the perception of melody in trance music.

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