Scientists have discovered the ability to distinguish between major and minor tonality have a six-month-olds, and the proportion of children who hear the differences between keys and those who do not hear, were the same as in adults. In a study published in The Journal of The Acoustical Society of America, said on bimodal distribution of sensitivity of the children to the keys which were detected in similar studies of adults.
In the study of sensitivity to major and minor tonalities in adults scientists have foundthat 30 percent of people are able to distinguish the tone, while 70 percent of people can’t hear differences between these schemes. However, neither music training nor the ability to distinguish fast from slow tempo had no effect on sensitivity to tonality.
In this regard, scientists have put forward the hypothesis that the ability to discern pitch is inborn or acquired in the first months of life. If six-month-old child without any musical training or targeted experience with major and minor scales will be able to distinguish one tone from another, then this hypothesis appears right to life.
A group of researchers under the leadership of Scott Adler (Adler, Scott A.) of the canadian York University conducted an experiment involving thirty six months (average age 186 days) children of different nationalities. The basis of the experiment was the technique prompts Posner. In the center of the screen flashed a red circle and included the sound of the C major tonality with a duration of 2.08 seconds (the red circle disappeared with the end of the sound). Within 2.5 seconds after the sound left a character of a popular cartoon. If sounded in a minor key sound, the character appears on the right. In fact, major and minor scales should be a hint, which side of the red circle will have the character: if the child hears differences between keys, the movement of his eyes will be directed towards the respective character.