Foreign word, rhythm and pitch discrimination in Chinese adolescents: A comparison between Chinese and Western musical instrumental players

Wai Chung TAM

Research output: ThesisBachelor's Thesis


Objctives: Past research had shown the link between musical training and language processing. In this study, it would test the hypotheses whether Chinese and Western musical instrumental players, who were more experienced or less experienced, and started musical training at different ages, differed in their abilities to discriminate rhythm, pitch, Norwegian and Thai, this research compared Chinese and Western instrumentalists in Hong Kong universities and local schools. Methods: Participants were 40 music participants recruited from Chinese and Western orchestras at 3 local universities and 4 high schools (mean age=17.78, 20 Western and 20 Chinese musicians), who completed a four-part test: a questionnaire concerning personal, music and language background, Profile for Music Perception Skills (PROMS) test (Law, & Zentner, 2012), Distorted Tunes Test (DTT) (Drayna, 2014), and word discrimination test (Norwegian and Thai). Results: Results showed that participants with similar years of training in Chinese and Western music did not differ in their abilities to discriminate rhythm, pitch, Norwegian words, and Thai words. Also, onset age was not a determining factor for rhythm, pitch and Norwegian discrimination, except Thai. Conclusion: Findings suggested that the type of musical systems that musicians were engaged in was not the most important for enhanced auditory perception. As long as they received musical training, participants should have better auditory perceptual skills than non-musicians. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Pitch Discrimination
Language Therapy
Auditory Perception
Hong Kong
Age of Onset


  • Chinese music
  • Western music
  • Pitch
  • Rhythm
  • Norwegian
  • Thai
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (BSocSc(Psy))--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2017.