Psychology of Music

Published by SAGE Publications
Print ISSN: 0305-7356
Humans are often exposed to music beginning at birth (or even before birth), yet the study of the development of musical abilities during infancy has only recently gained momentum. The goals of the present study were to determine whether young infants (ages four to seven months) spontaneously moved rhythmically in the presence of music, and whether the presence of visual information in addition to music would increase or decrease infants' movement. While nearly all infants moved in the presence of music, very few infants demonstrated rhythmic movement. Results revealed that, when visual information was present, and particularly when infants appeared to show focused attention toward the visual information, infants moved less than when only auditory information was present. The latter result is in agreement with most studies of sensory dominance in adults in which visual stimuli are dominant over auditory stimuli.
The research of Dr. Anne Savan considers the effects of background music on the coordination of pupils with special educational needs and emotional and behavioural difficulties. Previous research has shown that background music has an effect on certain physiological and biochemical pathways in pupils with special educational needs and emotional and behavioural difficulties. When background music is played during practical lessons, pupils become better coordinated and their behaviour improves. A key issue is why this phenomenon does not occur in pupils in mainstream education. It is proposed that sound stimulation of the limbic system is “age specific”. As the limbic system of the brain is not fully developed until around 2 years, stimulation up to this point will help the development of coordination. If a child has not received adequate stimulation of the limbic system during this crucial time, coordination remains underdeveloped. Case studies of pupils, who were subjects of this research, have shown that over 80% of them had not received high-frequency auditory stimulation during the first 2 years of life for a variety of reasons. Bombarding these pupils with high-frequency auditory stimulation at age 11 alters the body chemistry during stimulation, enabling the underdeveloped coordination system to function more effectively for short periods of time. While these effects have an immediate effect, it is not known at present whether the stimulation will have a cumulative effect or a permanent corrective effect.
Derives and discusses several examples of chromatic scales, with division of the octave into various parts. A definition is presented for major scales of n tones that would be feasible for polyphonic music, in chromatic scales of any number of divisions. Examples are given for the conventional 7-tone melodic scale and for 9- and 13-tone melodic scales. For the latter 2 scales, the equivalent to the conventional 7th chord, which represents the most important dissonant chord, is derived. The author suggests that the 13-tone scale is musically the most economical and aurally the most comprehensible harmonic variation. A slow, gentle period of introduction and exposure is recommended to enable people to get used to the new harmonies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Presents results of a follow-up to the author's (see record 1982-10725-001) previous study; the follow-up used a revised format that examined the aesthetic emotional (AE) response to music appreciation and whether, by removing AE assessments, more positive correlations might be discovered between appreciation and personality factors. Ss were 48 musically trained postgraduate students. Findings indicate that (1) the more relaxed and effortless the experience, the greater the appeal of human emotion, and (2) AE is a matter of enjoyment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In the first place, it is a common observation of music teachers that children with high intelligence generally tend to reach higher levels of musical achievement than do children with more modest intellectual abilities. In schools where pupils are "streamed", i.e. grouped in band-widths of I.Q., or according to their abilities in subjects requiring high levels of intellectual reasoning, those groups showing the highest levels of attainment in general intellectual functioning tend to be more highly motivated towards participation in musical activities. The same groups are often claimed to be more successful in acquiring skills such as musical literacy; this superiority is also sometimes believed to extend to acquisition of performing skills. Indeed, teachers of music now frequently question the validity of even attempting to inculcate such skills in groups of children of low general ability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Evaluated vocal programs designed to improve pitch discrimination and tonal memory with 6.5–8.1 yr old students. Each S was classified as high, medium, or low in vocal accuracy and randomly placed into 1 of 3 instruction groups. One experimental group used the glockenspiel for instrumental instruction, while another used a vocal procedure based on the solfa system. The control group consisted of a music program with predominantly rhythm objectives. Each group received 20 30-min lessons over a period of 8 wks. Pitch discrimination, tonal memory, and vocal range were assessed before and after the instruction period. Results show that both programs improved pitch discrimination and tonal memory, but did not differ significantly in improving melodic abilities. The vocal program also improved vocal accuracy, but neither program increased vocal range. Ss high or low in vocal accuracy showed more improvement in melodic and vocal abilities than Ss medium in vocal accuracy. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
182 music students, ranging in age from 8 yrs to adulthood, completed a test of acoustic structuring and measures of verbal and spatial ability. In 9–20 yr olds, music ability was related to verbal but not to spatial ability; this tendency was much stronger for males than for females and suggests that musical material is processed using the same strategies and neural functions used in listening to speech. Younger females tended to show greater musical talent in accordance with their higher verbal abilities. In the early teens, males with strong spatial ability also showed an ability to organize auditive material, eliminating the sex differences apparent at earlier ages and demonstrating a possible basis of different types of musical talent. (6 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Investigated (a) the appropriateness of the Musical Aptitude Profile (MAP) and the Iowa Tests of Music Literacy (ITML) for non-music majors, and (b) the possible predictive strength of either MAP or ITML-Level-1 for achievement on successive levels of ITML. 86 Ss were administered the MAP near the beginning of the semester. The ITML Levels 1–4 were administered over the course of the semester as examinations to measure Ss' mastery of course content. Results show that the MAP composite score was a significant predictor beyond the .001 level of probability of all ITML composite scores. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Investigated whether musicians would be able to discriminate among the tonal qualities of musical instruments in 3 price ranges, whether the most expensive instrument would be generally considered the best, and whether the more expensive instruments would generate more elaborate waveforms. Ratings were obtained from 51 university-level trumpet students and band and orchestra directors. Results indicate that Ss were highly consistent in rating particular trumpets via magnitude estimation but that the same instruments were not chosen in the same order for isolated tones as they were for particular excerpts. Waveform and tonal quality both varied with the particular trumpet, but not in any conclusive way. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
126 7–8, 9–10, and 14–25 yr olds were presented with 9 pairs of musical pieces and asked to indicate whether they were the same or different and the reasons for their decision. Data suggest that sensitivity to stylistic categories of music increased with age, although objective-analytic and affective responses showed no consistent relation to age. Objective-global and associative responses occurred less frequently but showed a gradual increase with age. (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Data obtained from 101 music students (undergraduates and graduates) confirm the author's findings (1973) indicating that the primary appeal of music is an emotional one. However, it was found that this emotional appeal was less strong with more highly trained listeners, especially when the music was familiar. Of the 3 factors that may be thought to condition S's appreciation—S's musical training, familiarity with the music listened to, and personality—S's musical training was by far the most important. Training varies in degree and detail from one individual to another, and it cannot be completely separated from what may be called S's musical/social context. But whereas it is familiarity that appears to increase enjoyment of music, it is training that furnishes an understanding of it. This propagates an interest in the important facets of music and creates an appropriate pattern of responses. (3 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Teacher verbal reinforcement of on-task behavior and withholding of music performance until the class was ready and quiet both reduced the off-task behavior of 10 "problem" junior high school students in 4 music classes and improved the teacher's appropriate delivery of reinforcement. These gains were maintained in return-to-baseline and fading conditions. Difficulties in introducing behavioral techniques in the classroom and possible reasons for the effectiveness of music performance as a reinforcer are discussed. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The validity of a musical aptitude test is the correlation between test scores and the true musical aptitude of the persons tested. Because the true nature of musical aptitude is not known, substitutes are used. These involve validating tests against teachers' ratings, self-reports, achievement, and well-known tests. The present author demonstrates that when these validity criteria are used, the "higher the correlation, the better the test" principle does not hold. (4 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In spite of the second-class status so frequently given to aesthetics teaching in primary schools, some children reach such an outstanding level of performance that they can be termed talented. This research was designed to find out how children come into contact with music and graphic art, and why some of them are so successful in practice. The question of how, and in what ways, the outstanding children were different to their classmates was tackled from three aspects: the children, their homes, and their schools. The research concluded that Parental attitudes to the children were of supreme importance in determining children's level of performance in music and art. It was found that Musical and artistic expertise do not necessarily incorporate measurable creative ability. The opportunities provided for the development of special potential in areas of learning such as music or art, reflect the values of the society. These values may in turn be effectively judged by the provision made for these facets of education in schools. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses the neurology and neuropsychology of music perception and performance. Topics include: amusias (amusia with aphasia, aphasia without amusia, amusia without aphasia); auditory agnosias and verbal deafness; progress in the classification of auditory disorders (auditory agnosias, amusias); cerebral hemisphere asymmetry in music perception and production (group studies of unilateral brain damage, positron emission tomography, hemisphere anesthetization, ear differences in normal listeners); progress in the neuropsychology of human music perception; music perception as a skill; and perspectives for the neuropsychological study of music. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Describes the techniques and procedures used to develop and evaluate the Motoric Music Skills Test, a measure of motor pattern coordination, eye–hand coordination, range of movement, speed of movement, and compound factors in young children. (32 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
30 music and 20 nonmusic students were tested to determine if they could attend to simultaneous musical lines that did not overlap into the same underlying harmony. Two simple tunes were subjected to error detection tests. Music Ss found it easiest to detect errors when the melodies were in the same key and most difficult when they were in unrelated keys. Comparison of these results with those of nonmusic Ss reveals that the effect of key relatedness on the ability to monitor 2 simultaneously performed melodies was not confined to music Ss. It is suggested that 2 melodies that harmonize with one another are not treated as 2 separate messages by the listener, but the fact that they share an underlying harmony allows some kind of integration to take place. (5 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Questionnaire data from 118 music teachers indicated Ss' strong belief concerning the importance of their work and teaching in general, moderate satisfaction with their jobs, a negative view of the social recognition of teachers, and concern over "burnout." The most important problems related to teaching were classroom discipline and lack of student interest. Less experienced teachers showed greater dissatisfaction in several areas, such as lack of equipment, large classes, pupil behavior, and pupil attitudes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
10 out of 20 preschoolers (aged 4 yrs 8 mo to 5 yrs 6 mo) failed to identify correctly any of the pitch or loudness differences in 8 pairs of sounds. Among the 10 Ss who were able to detect some of the differences, the number of correct identifications was significantly correlated with verbal abilities. Although this result illustrates the role of language in concept formation, the overlap of verbal scores between the successful and unsuccessful groups indicates that factors other than language level affect the ability to describe differences between sounds. Ss' better performance on loudness than on pitch discrimination may reflect the more common everyday usage of this dimension. Possible explanations for the incorrect identification of changes in pitch include the Ss' use of holistic rather than analytic strategies and a perceptual shift in auditory information processing. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examined the capacity of 102 1st–4th graders to discriminate between same or different directional patterns through aural/aural, aural/visual, and visual/aural tasks. All instructions and stimuli were presented via a microcomputer. Ss scored higher on the aural/aural tests than on any of the other test combinations. The moving visual and aural combinations seemed to be most effective with the 4th graders and the high- and middle-ability groups. The only group that appeared to be helped by the stationary visuals were the 4th graders, but only when the aural preceded the visual presentation. The amount of differences found for ascending vs descending items and for the number of tones within an item did not appear to change across grades, abilities, or sex. In teaching music to young children, one must teach first the aural/aural matching, then the visual and aural tasks, and finally the stationary visual and aural combinations. It is concluded that the technical capabilities of microcomputers for pairing moving graphics and sounds open new avenues for research in determining how visual motion may affect a child's conceptual development of tonal direction. (6 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Tested the hypothesis previously put forth by the present author (see record 1981-02558-001) that within the broad range of speeds appropriate for any total musical situation, a musician has one or more relatively precise "preferences." These vary consistently in response to changes in any physiological, musical, or performing factor. A series of experiments with 20 undergraduates and the author investigated (a) the possibility of the existence of a discrete series of individual "preferred" tempi in any given total musical situation and (b) the tempo change associated with variation of selected musical, performing, and other factors. Results suggest aspects of tempo behavior that need further investigation and provide varying degrees of support for the hypothesis. (3 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses biological differences between musical and nonmusical sound and explores evidence which may provide a basis for the property of musicality in the hearing system below the level of the cortex. The major concern of musicality is with sounds of sustained constant frequency. Observations suggest that making comparisons between frequencies and sound patterns is an integral part of the musical hearing mechanism and that logarithmic laws are built into its mechanics. Experimental evidence indicates that the physiological mechanism may represent constant frequency sound as pulse trains, obtaining the information in sound from the pattern rather than from the specific location of the pattern in the basilar membrane. In the identification of pitch it is the temporal pattern of change and not the instantaneous pattern of frequency distribution which appears to be essential. Any process of comparing pulse patterns from different sources on the basilar membrane would produce a matching between such sets of impulses which would not occur between other sets. The musical implications of these theories are discussed. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examined the effects of the Kodaly method of singing instruction—which involves the accompaniment of music with rhythmic movements and the verbal or physical representation of songs—on the development of young children. 20 3-yr-olds were pretested and assigned to either the experimental group, which received twice-weekly special singing lessons based on the Kodaly method over 3 yrs, or the control group, which attended only regular nursery school programs. The experimental group showed greater improvement than the control group on measures of motor development, particularly dynamic coordination; abstract conceptual thinking; and play improvisation and originality. On an adaptation of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, the experimental group showed superior performance on subtests requiring verbal responses but not on those involving drawing. No between-group differences in IQ were found. (3 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
A criterion-referenced music test designated the Infant Musical Profile was developed and administered to 180 5-, 6-, and 7-yr-olds to provide information on the development of musical concepts and performance in children. Results show that the mastery of high/low as isolated sounds preceded the mastery of comparative examples. There was less problem in understanding the concept of loudness than that of pitch, and Ss found it easier to understand the terminology than to express it themselves. A large percentage of the Ss demonstrated mastery of chord perception, indicating an ability to concentrate simultaneously on melodic and harmonic aspects of a song. Results also demonstrate the correlation between conceptual areas, response domains, and types of competence. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
106 8–9 and 10–11 yr olds listened to 12 pairs of extracts from classical or popular music, judged whether or not they were from the same piece, and indicated their reasons for this decision. Ss gave more correct responses when judging popular pieces, and younger Ss performed better than older ones on popular extracts. Older Ss provided more reasons for their decisions, reflecting greater verbal fluency as much as increased auditory acuity. Both groups provided more justifications for their decisions regarding classical music, suggesting a lack of vocabulary to describe popular music. Style sensitivity was related to instrumentation in classical music and to tempo in popular music. Results indicate that Ss were sensitive to stylistic differences in music but required music education to express this sensitivity verbally. (4 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Investigated whether 3 musical-phrase comparison tasks represent a hierarchy of processing difficulty or whether simultaneous processing of 2 or more tasks occurs. The 3 tasks included (1) detection of a tonal discrepancy between pairs of tonal patterns and detection of a rhythmic discrepancy between pairs of rhythmic patterns; (2) detection of a discrepancy, either tonal or rhythmic, between pairs of tonal-rhythmic patterns; and (3) identification of the type of discrepancy, either tonal or rhythmic, between pairs of tonal-rhythmic patterns. Two experiments with 111 music students revealed that neither the RTs nor the relative position of the tasks would suggest that a hierarchy is absolute or that finite processing stages exist. Rather, for a given type of test item, a number of factors appeared to affect both the time required to make a decision/response and the resulting task sequence. (11 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses issues concerning compositional creativity in music education, particularly the "new" concept of creativity as a problem-solving process, which is rooted in the psychological view that creativity can be identified by asking Ss to provide lists of possible uses of certain objects or solve figural puzzles. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The study of non-Western music perception has had relatively little attention, although there are indications of increasing interest among scholars of diverse disciplines. In general, musicologists tend to focus on the "document" frame of reference, wherein generalizations about musical practice and development are made from cultural artifacts (notations) or on-site interviews. Musical anthropologists, as well as some ethnomusicologists, seem overly concerned with extramusical, contextual features. Psychologists, on the other hand, are interested in the perceptual and cognitive functions of music, often ignoring the subtleties of the musical frame. Rarely seen is an integrative approach, deriving musical questions from the cultural context and answering these with the rigor of empiricism. Topics include: introduction and overview; pitch; pitch systems; tonality; melody; rhythm; timbre and spectra; creativity, communication, meaning, and affect; verbal attributes and semantics; species differences: animal speech and music; perception of tonality by the monkey; notes on the neurophysiology of music perception; cognitive musical universals; and coda. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examined the relationships between the responses of 22 undergraduates to the appreciation subtests of the Standardized Tests of Musical Intelligence (STMI), the musical sensitivity portion of the Musical Aptitude Profile (MAP), and the Indiana-Oregon Music Discrimination Test (IOMDT). None of the correlations between the tests and the subtests of different tests were significant, although each MAP and STMI correlated with their total respective test scores. The validity of the IOMDT as a measure of musical sensitivity appears more suspect than the other 2 tests. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Extends the present author's (see PA, Vols 67:11917, 68:10012, and 69:12734) previous work on the existence of a personality structure in a large sample of musicians by revealing that Ss shared a common core of traits that may be interpreted as musician-linked. The relative importance of these may fluctuate within the polarity and may be augmented by other traits with functions more closely related to specific tasks. A summary of profiles for complete samples and subgroups of musicians showing deviations from general population norms for these musician-related traits is included. The musician's personality is described as polymorphous. (7 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Administered a word meanings questionnaire to 54 undergraduates in which Ss' task was to decide whether the literal/spatial or metaphorical/musical usage represented the primary meaning of the term. Ss viewed the musical usage of a term as closer to the core meaning of the term than the metaphorical usage, indicating the value of a psycholinguistic approach to musical development in highlighting the relationship between everyday and musical knowledge, the ways in which key musical terms are stored, and theoretical and methodological perspectives on which to formulate effective teaching/learning methods in musical education. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Outlines a theory of musical learning in which the process character of a temporal configuration, such as a melody, is transformed into the static and simultaneous character of the associated memory content on the basis of a matrix combining recently past, instantly past, and immediately future events. In this view, learning reflects shaping the acoustic stimuli provided rather than simply receiving information from outside. The types of information provided by different musical stimuli and the ways in which they are processed are discussed. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Tested D. Cooke's (1959) hypothesis that particular melodic lines ("basic terms") were repeatedly used where the same emotion was intended, even though other aspects of music, rhythm, harmony, volume, and timbre were changed to provide nuances in meaning. 22 polytechnic students were asked to rate the match between each basic term and the description provided. Results show that the basic terms, in their pure form, had not conveyed the meaning ascribed to them by Cooke, thus lending support to D. E. Berlyne's (see PA, Vol 49:821) view that, of available analytical methods, those that vary attributes of artistic stimuli one by one are likely to allow the fastest progress in understanding the effect art has on individuals. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Presents the case of a young deaf female accomplished musician who experiences music through vibrations transmitted to and through her body. Possible explanations for this phenomenon are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses 6 theories of development, propounded by 5 theorists, in terms of their effectiveness in providing a framework for comprehending musical development. The theorists are H. Gardner (1973), J. Piaget (1969), H. Werner (1961), J. Wohlwill (1970), and E. Gibson (1969). Illustrating how the theories may be applied to research, 3 frequently investigated abilities are employed: recognition of variation on a theme, discrimination of variation from theme, and perception of tonality. Each of the theorists may be categorized as either "technical-geometric" or "physiognomic" in orientation. Geometric perception is essentially static and limited to the measurable properties of stimuli. Physiognomic perception, on the other hand, is concerned exclusively with dynamic and affective properties of stimuli. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Considers concepts of emotion and music in terms of the arousal–cognition theory of emotion and reports an investigation of the reliability of Crickmore's Music Appreciation Test. Arousal–cognition theory holds that there is a component of undifferentiated physiological arousal common to all emotion; a component of cognition, the person's appraisal of the situation, provides the quality of emotion (e.g., fear, amusement). The components of emotion interact—cognition can initiate arousal and arousal can heighten the selectivity of cognition (attention). 220 Ss completed the Music Appreciation Test on 2 occasions, 2–3 wks apart, for each of 6 musical pieces. Ss also completed the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) and a musical biography form. Results show that the Music Appreciation Test is unreliable across test–retest conditions and scores did not correlate with EPI measures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Explored the relations between structure in music and emotional experience to focus on real music as opposed to tones, rhythm patterns, and computerized melodies. It was assumed that the emotional experience of music depends on constellations of structural elements rather than on separate, single elements. Therefore, ratings of single elements were factor analyzed to isolate coherent groups of elements. Eight musically educated persons rated 2 samples of music according to musical content. 25 women and 4 men (20–40 yrs of age) then rated their emotional experience during the sample of classical music; 28 women and 22 men (20–30 yrs of age) rated the sample of newly composed music. Factor analysis of musical content ratings by musically educated Ss resulted in interpretable and meaningful factors of expressive style. These factors were correlated with the emotional experience of musically untrained Ss. The expressive means thus seem to be quite uniformly interpreted by Ss. Findings support the view that music is an efficient signal in transferring emotional messages. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Investigated the processes that influence the perception of music in 2 experiments with adults who had no special interest in music. In Exp I, 50 20–30 yr olds rated 13 pieces of music, one at a time, on semantic-rating scales designed to measure the emotional experience evoked by the music. Results show that the emotional expression in specially composed, short, and relatively simple pieces of orchestral music could be analyzed via the semantic-differential technique. In Exp II, 29 female and 21 male 19–51 yr olds rated 7 of the 13 pieces using the same semantic-differential scales as in Exp I. Personality traits of Ss were measured by the Cesarec-Marke Personality Scheme. The questionnaire measures 11 psychogenic needs (e.g., achievement, aggression, and nurturance). In addition, 5 weighted factor indexes of personality were calculated: neurotic self-assertion, dominance, aggressive nonconformity, passive dependence, and sociability. Ss were divided into high and low groups according to psychogenic needs and personality index scores. Results indicate that sex contributed to the perception of more tension in females in those pieces of music that connoted more tension to all Ss and that there was an observed difference of attractiveness in music that was related to age. (35 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Two experiments tested the ability of 124 5–6 and 6–7 yr olds to recognize simple and complex musical pieces after immediate or 1-wk delayed repetition. The percentage of correct judgments was high, particularly for more complex pieces that included distinctive features likely to be retained in memory. Older Ss and girls were more likely to make correct judgments, and recognition declined only slightly over the 1-wk retention interval. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Sight reading is a skill which causes difficulty even to some accomplished musicians. The reasons for this are usually not clear to the introspections of musicians themselves, yet there is some evidence of major perceptual differences among musicians which have nothing to do with visual acuity. A study by Bean has shown that short fragments of musical text displayed briefly are more accurately recorded by good sight-readers than by poor sight-readers. He found that good sight-readers could record five notes accurately in any one fixation whereas poor sight-readers could record only two or three notes with the same degree of accuracy. Whilst this finding is important, in itself it sheds little light on the underlying cognitive processes which are responsible for the apparent superiority of good sight-readers in perceiving musical text. The application of an "eye-hand span" technique in the study of this effect was suggested by work of Levin and associates who used the "eye-voice span" as an index of cognitive processes used in reading English text. This technique involves the display of a paragraph of text which subjects are required to read aloud. The eye-voice span (E.V.S.) is defined as the amount of material that subjects report correctly after the text becomes invisible. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Highlights the importance of tonality in determining the ease with which a sequence is apprehended and outlines data on the response of absolute pitch listeners to sequential pitch structures. Also presented are the psychological correlates of tonality. Implications for various aspects of the psychology of music are discussed with respect to the study of perceptual processes and individual differences in musical testing. Data from the L. L. Cuddy et al (see record 1982-07035-001) study are examined. A classification system for tone sequences is delineated that involves membership in a diatonic scale, the tonic-dominant-tonic chord progression, and the final leading-note to tonic ending. Further analysis was performed on ratings of perceived tonality, recognition of mistuning of transported sequences, recognition of mistuning of untransposed sequences, and ambiguous sequences. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Assessed personality factors (High School Personality Questionnaire and the 16 PF) of 1,386 13–17 yr old high school musicians, 18–25 yr old university music majors, and 24–70 yr old professional musicians. 432 Ss served as controls. Findings show that all Ss rated high on introversion, pathemia, and intelligence. High school Ss rated high on dependence and university Ss and professionals on anxiety. Professionals also rated high on independence, naturalness, and subjectivity. Subsamples of especially talented school and student musicians demonstrated clear evidence of further introversion coupled with anxiety. Data suggest that Ss exhibit an ability to withdraw into a colorful and imaginative inner life, while simultaneously providing the single-mindedness necessary for the acquisition of technical skills. (36 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Research indicates that sex is an important experimental dimension rather than merely a tiresome intervening variable when exploring the personality structure of the musician. The present author administered personality questionnaires to 1,184 13–25 yr old music students, 432 nonmusic students, and 202 24–70 yr old professional musicians. Results show a progressive erosion of sex differences among musicians on specific personality dimensions. Thus, psychologically androgynous persons appear to be best endowed with the wider range of temperaments necessary for success in the field of music. (33 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Investigated the association of musicality, musical background, and intelligence with social status. Ss were 194 3rd-yr students from 4 junior schools, ranging in status from lower class to upper-middle class. Musical aptitude was assessed by the Wing Standardized Tests of Musical Intelligence (TMI) and the Tests of Rhythmic Ability for Children; intelligence was assessed by the Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT); and a questionnaire was administered to each S in order to determine his/her degree of musical training. Correlations were .61 between TMI and CAT, and .69 between TRA and CAT. Scores on each of the tests decreased progressively from School A to School D, and most of the differences between schools on each test were significant. Division of the Ss into 5 groups of increasing TMI mean scores yielded proportional increases in CAT mean scores. Results show a close relationship between musicality and intelligence which, along with musical background, is associated with social status. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In a replication and extension of a previous study by the author and D. MacManus (1979), 40 5th–6th graders, 40 undergraduate education majors, and 40 music majors indicated their music preferences and provided objective data related to these preferences (e.g., number of records owned of each preferred composer). Ss were then allowed to select from among 4 tapes reflecting popular or classical styles. Stated preferences for popular but not classical composers differed from those reported in the earlier study, particularly for younger Ss. Music majors only preferred to listen to classical music and showed consistency among verbal and operant measures of preference. Results illustrate the complexity of the verbal/behavioral interrelationship and the difficulty of selecting music for a group context. (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Analyzed the directional response errors of 48 undergraduate music majors. Ss listened to 2 versions of the same musical or metronomic excerpt, differing from each other solely in tempo. Pitch, timbre, and expressive elements for musical examples were kept constant through the use of a speech compressor. S's task was to make proportional numerical estimates of the 2nd presentation (the repetition) based on the assignment of a fixed number to the 1st (the standard). Three tempo categories (slow, moderate, and fast) were studied for both musical and metronomic mediums. Results demonstrate that Ss' directional response errors were not random: they were systematically affected by the standard–repetition speed ratio. Results suggest that the perception of tempo change is not very precise; they imply that intended doubling or halving of tempi on the part of the performer need not be particularly accurate in order for the listener (or the performer) to perceive these intended relationships. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
16PF data from 32 music education graduate students and 32 student performers revealed, as expected, that the former group demonstrated higher levels on traits associated with extraversion, realism, and tough-mindedness. The high levels of introversion and sensitivity evidenced by the performing musicians were considered inappropriate characteristics for successful classroom management, although difficulties related to the high levels of conservatism of student teachers were also apparent. Implications for career guidance and student selection are noted. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Outlines psychological services and research conducted at the Academy of Music in Warsaw. These services include participation in entrance examinations, provision of a guidance service for students, and consultation on research projects in the psychology of music that are supervised by musicians. Four areas of research are pursued: test methods, study of the theoretical basis of psychological guidance for musicians, research on musical careers and the psychosocial determinants of success in them, and research on the psychological foundations of music education in the general school system. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In a study previously described by I. Bengston and A. Gabrielson (see record 1982-00057-001), 6 musicians' performances of 28 pieces of music were compared with the mechanical norm of musical notation to examine possible systematic variations in performing different types of music. Results show that actual performances deviated significantly from the musical notation, depending on the musical context. It is apparent that musical notation refers mainly to structural aspects, with fewer references to motional and emotional aspects, so that structural patterns have to be altered to conform to the intended quality of the music. Results highlight the limitations of rhythm training that concentrate on structural patterns and ignore musical context and individual variations. (10 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Examined the interacting effects of musical content, familiarity of the listener with a piece, and musical training. The listener's evaluation of music also was investigated by employing ratings of musical quality as well as of preference. Eight pieces of music were designated as classical or popular, familiar or unfamiliar; there were thus 2 pieces in each of 4 categories, arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial form. 54 undergraduates were assembled in small groups and listened to the tape without interruption, after which they rated each extract on 2 7-point scales (dislike–like; poor quality–good quality). Ss were divided into 2 groups: untrained (no musical training/experience) or trained (any form of training beyond routine school music lessons). Results of 2 ANOVAs indicate significant main effects for musical training and familiarity on both quality and liking ratings: trained Ss gave significantly higher ratings than untrained Ss, and familiar extracts were given significantly higher ratings than unfamiliar ones. Classical extracts were given higher quality ratings than were the popular extracts by all Ss. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Top-cited authors
David J Hargreaves
  • University of Roehampton
John Sloboda
  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Gary E. McPherson
  • University of Melbourne
A. C. North
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Patrik Juslin
  • Uppsala University