ORIGINAL ARTICLE
FREQUENCY FOLLOWING RESPONSES IN VOCALISTS, VIOLINISTS, AND NONMUSICIANS TO CARNATIC MUSICAL STIMULI
Prajna J Bhat 1, A-F  
,   Rajalakshmi K 2, A,D-F  
 
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1
Audiology, Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing, India
2
Department of Audiology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru, Karnataka, India, India
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article;
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Prajna J Bhat   

Audiology, Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing, 1st cross, 5th main, 560024, bengaluru, India
Publication date: 2021-08-31
 
J Hear Sci 2021;11(2):37–43
 
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ABSTRACT
Background:
The current study investigates pitch coding among vocalists, violinists, and non-musicians to Carnatic musical stimuli.

Material and methods:
Three groups of participants were included in the study: 10 trained Carnatic vocalists, 10 violinists,and 10 non-musicians. Their ages ranged from 18 to 45 years. Two types of stimuli were given: three notes of a Carnatic raga (S R2 G3) sung by a trained vocalist and three notes of a Carnatic raga (S R2 G3) played on violin by a trained violinist. Frequency following responses (FFRs) were recorded binaurally at 80 dBSPL for both stimuli using Neuroscan equipment.

Results:
Grand average responses of all participants were generated. To assess a participant’s pitch tracking to the Carnatic music stimuli, stimulus-to-response correlation, pitch strength, and pitch error were calculated. Vocalists and violinists had better stimulus-to-response correlation and pitch strength values with lower pitch error values than non-musicians for both vocal and violin stimuli. Within both the vocalist and violinist groups, superior performance was noticed for the vocal stimulus compared to the violin stimulus. No such preference was evident among non-musicians.

Conclusions:
Classical music training dependent plasticity can be demonstrated at brainstem level itself. This holds true for both vocal and violin music, a finding not reported previously. Further a link between musical training and the FFR response can be more strongly demonstrated for vocalists than for violinists.