The acoustic cues that guide the assignment of phrase boundaries in music (pauses and pitch movements) overlap with those that are known for speech prosody. Based on this, researchers have focused on highlighting the similarities and neural resources shared between music and speech prosody segmentation. The possibility that music-specific expectations add to acoustic cues in driving the segmentation of music into phrases could weaken this bottom-up view, but it remains underexplored. We tested for domain-specific expectations in music segmentation by comparing the segmentation of the same set of ambiguous stimuli under two different instructions: stimuli were either presented as speech prosody or as music. We measured how segmentation differed, in each instruction group, from a common reference (natural speech); thus, focusing on how instruction affected delexicalization effects (natural speech vs. transformed versions with no phonetic content) on segmentation. We saw interactions between delexicalization and instruction on most segmentation indices, suggesting that there is a music mode, different from a speech prosody mode in segmentation. Our findings highlight the importance of top-down influences in segmentation, and they contribute to rethinking the analogy between music and speech prosody.
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