Naming of musical notes: A selective deficit in one musical clef

Daniele Schön, Carlo Semenza, Gianfranco Denes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the ability to perform solfeggio, i.e. oral reading of musical notes in MP, a 65 year-old female professional musician, who, following a left temporoparietal ischemia, showed a complex pattern of amusia. The deficit on which we focused was her inability to read orally the bass (F) clef, often substituting it with the violin (G) clef. This problem could not be attributed to a lack of comprehension. The patient could in fact correctly perform on the piano the same sequences she erroneously read aloud; she was also able to correctly judge whether two strings, one in bass clef and the other in violin clef, represented the same sequence of notes. The problem seems to lie in the inability to retrieve note names keeping into account the clef-rule. It is hypothesized that, in the production of note names, this function requires the identification and application of syntactic-like information, in analogy with what is thought to happen in the retrieval of other words.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-421
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Amusia
  • Clefs
  • Lesion
  • Music
  • Naming
  • Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)


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