The Music In Repetition

This experiment aims to study how some non-musical sound fragments can transform into music through the simple act of repeatition.

Please read and agree to terms below to continue.

‘I hereby declare that I have been clearly informed about the research project “Transformation of Sound to Music” at the University of Amsterdam, Musicology department, conducted by Arran Lyon under supervision of Makiko Sadakata as described in the information brochure. My questions have been answered to my satisfaction, and if not please contact Arran Lyon or Makiko Sadakata (contact information below).

I consent to participate in this research on an entirely voluntary basis. I retain the right to revoke this consent without having to provide any reasons for my decision. I am aware that I am entitled to discontinue the research at any time and can withdraw my participation up to 8 days after the research has ended. If I decide to stop or withdraw my consent, all the information gathered up until then will be permanently deleted.

If my research results are used in scientific publications or made public in any other way, they will be fully anonymised. My personal information may not be viewed by third parties without my express permission.

If I need any further information on the research, now or in the future, I can contact Arran Lyon (phone number: +31 06 36087545 e-mail: or Makiko Sadakata (phone number: 00316-1404-4132, e-mail:, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, Room number 1.06, 1012 CP Amsterdam).

If I have any complaints regarding this research, I can contact the secretary of the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Amsterdam; email:; phone number: +31 20 - 525 3054; Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.

Before we begin, we would like to know which languages you can understand.

Please indicate below if you are fluent (for example, can talk in daily converstation) in any of the following languages, and feel free to add any other in the 'Other' box:

Here we present multiple non-musical sounds (e.g. speech, environmental sounds), and you will rate how `musical' it sounds to you. A sound sample will repeat 8 times with a short pause in between. We are interested in how your musical perception changes over the repetitions - some may start to sound more musical, while others may stay non-musical. Please change the slider position throughout the experiment as your perception changes.

Here is an example sound that is known to become highly musical after a few repetitions. Press play to listen to the sound on repeat.

Please make sure your headphones (preferred) or speakers are unmuted and at a comfortable volume, and that you are in an isolated environment where you will not be disturbed or interrupted.

You may notice that after a few repetitions, the speaker starts to sound like she is singing, rather than speaking.

Using the slider below, you can rate how `musical' her voice has become:

Not Musical
Very Musical

After you have submitted your rating, you can proceed to the main task, where you will rate other sounds in a similar fashion.

Please read the following instructions and make sure you understand before you start:

  1. Click Start to play the sound.
  2. A short countdown allows you to get ready.
  3. You will then hear a sound clip repeated multiple times.
  4. Whilst listening to the repetitions, rate the sound clip on how musical it sounds using the slider, from Not Musical on the left, to Very Musical on the far right, or anywhere in between.
    • Not Musical: sounds exactly like natural speech, or any other non-musical sounds.
    • Very Musical: sounds exactly like singing, or any type of musical piece.
  5. It is important to adjust the slider if the sound appears to change to reflect your rating. (You can move it any number of times and at any point during the trial)
  6. The task ends after the 8th repetition.
  7. You will be asked to submit your final rating of the sound. Click Submit Rating to confirm your choice
  8. By clicking Next Sound you begin the next trial with a different sound, and repeat the process from step 2.

There are 15 trials in total, and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. After the trials have finished, you may continue to rate more sounds if you wish. There are a total of 98 different sounds. We do not expect you to complete all of them, however the more you can rate the more helpful it will be for our research. When you are done, you can simply leave the page.

Is the task clear? If so, you may begin...

Not Musical
Very Musical

Disclaimer: The data you give is collected completely anonymously and is used for academic purposes only. We do not store any cookies or session data on your computer.