This study looked at how people store and retrieve tonal music explicitly and implicitly using a production task. Participants completed an implicit task (tune stem completion) followed by an explicit task (cued recall). The tasks were identical except for the instructions at test time. They listened to tunes and were then presented with tune stems from previously heard tunes and novel tunes. For the implicit task, they were asked to sing a note they thought would come next musically. For the explicit task, they were asked to sing the note they remembered as coming next. Experiment 1 found that people correctly completed significantly more old stems than new stems. Experiment 2 investigated the characteristics of music that fuel retrieval by varying a surface feature of the tune (same timbre ordifferent timbre) from study to test and the encoding task (semantic or nonsemantic). Although we did not find that implicit and explicit memory for music were significantly dissociated for levels of processing, we did find that surface features of music affect semantic judgments and subsequent explicit retrieval.
American Journal of Psychology
Warker, J.A. and Halpern, Andrea. "Musical stem completion: Humming that note." American Journal of Psychology (2005) : 567-585.