Music training and rate of presentation as mediators of text and song recall

Mem Cognit. 2000 Jul;28(5):700-10. doi: 10.3758/bf03198404.


The present research addresses whether music training acts as a mediator of the recall of spoken and sung lyrics and whether presentation rate is the essential variable, rather than the inclusion of melody. In Experiment 1, 78 undergraduates, half with music training and half without, heard spoken or sung lyrics. Recall for sung lyrics was superior to that for spoken lyrics for both groups. In Experiments 2 and 3, presentation rate was manipulated so that the durations of the spoken and the sung materials were equal. With presentation rate equated, there was no advantage for sung over spoken lyrics. In all the experiments, those participants with music training outperformed those without training in all the conditions. The results suggest that music training leads to enhanced memory for verbal material. Previous findings of melody's aiding text recall may be attributed to presentation rate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Music*
  • Random Allocation
  • Wechsler Scales