The purpose of this study was to compare melody recognition and pitch perception of adult cochlear implant recipients and normal-hearing adults and to identify factors that influence the ability of implant users to recognize familiar melodies. Forty-nine experienced cochlear implant recipients and 18 normal-hearing adults were tested on familiar melody recognition. The normal-hearing adults were significantly (p < 0.0001) more accurate than implant recipients. Implant recipients showed considerable variability in perception of complex tones and pure tones. There were significant negative correlations between melody recognition, age at the time of testing, length of profound deafness and complex-tone perception, and significant positive relations between melody recognition and speech recognition scores. Copyright © 2002 Whurr Publishers Ltd.