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The goal of this study was to investigate several factors that determine musical stability in unaccompanied tonal melodies. Following M. R. Jones's (1987) theory of dynamic attending, the author assumed that strongly accented tones act as stable melodic reference points. Three main results were observed: (a) tonal structure, rhythm, and melodic factors (i.e., pitch skips or change in melodic contour)all contributed to defining the stability experienced on the melodic tones; (b) a lineardoi:10.1037//0096-1522.214.171.1248 pmid:9180045 fatcat:3znfeja4b5bslnbvvqvcm3cpam