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Title:An investigation of the construct validity and factor structure of the primary measures of music audiation through structural equation modeling
Author(s):Pettit, Raymond Charles
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Boardman, Eunice
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Tests and Measurements
Education, Music
Abstract:The study compared models of tonal music aptitude as measured by Edwin E. Gordon's Primary Measures of Music Education (PMMA). The models were derived from Gordon's theories and research, as well as recent research in music cognition and auditory imagery. Three models were examined: (1) A Functional Model, (2) a Structural Model, based on the musical structure of the test items, and (3) a Developmental Model, which allowed for items to be related to different factors.
Gordon's PMMA purports to measure music aptitude by having children listen to paired musical patterns and decide whether they are the same or different. In the tonal test, one or more notes, the direction of the notes, or both, may be changed. Gordon holds that the ability to discern the "different" patterns correctly is an indication of greater aptitude for music.
A pilot study suggested that the number of notes in a test item, as well as the musical structure of the item, might be factors contributing to the measurement of the underlying trait of music aptitude. Utilizing a sample of 1445 elementary children, the primary study compared each model by grade level through the technique of structural equation modeling (SEM). Results of the chi-square tests showed moderate fit for all of the models, with the most consistent fit indices occurring for Model 2 and Model 3. A 2nd-order model was proposed that theorized two underlying dimensions affecting the six factors of Model 2. The fit of this model improved from grade level to grade level, but appeared to reach a ceiling by 2nd grade.
The conclusions of this study were that the PMMA is primarily a measure of pitch discrimination, or at best tonal memory. As children mature, they gradually move from relying on perceptual features of discrete tones to apprehending the tonal structure of music patterns. A certain amount of fluctuation in measurement occurs as a result of a child's reliance on either sensing or apprehending. Future research should include an investigation of the rhythmic portion of the PMMA, as well as validation studies of the results of this study.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Pettit, Raymond Charles
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712405
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712405

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