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Title:The Parameters of Eye Movement in Vocal Music Reading (sight-Reading; Saccades)
Author(s):Goolsby, Thomas Watson, III
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Music
Abstract:The purpose of the study was to investigate selected aspects of perceptual processing of graduate music students reading melodies of varying levels of notational complexity. Six parameters of eye movement were measured using an SRI Eytracker: number of progressive and regressive fixations, progressive and regressive fixation durations, and progressive and regressive saccade lengths. The 24 subjects who participated in the study were skilled and less skilled music readers. Eye movement was recorded every millisecond and fixation location was measured to an accuracy of approximately one-tenth the width of the head of a quarter-note.
A factorial design was utilized: two groups x four melodies x three encounters (the third following a four minute practice period). Vocal performances were tape recorded and performance errors identified. Profiles of Processing were constructed for two skilled and two less skilled music readers during their performances of the four melodies by plotting the location of all fixations.
Results indicated that eye movement patterns of the two groups were similar. Less skilled music readers used fewer but longer progressive fixations across all levels of notation and encounters. Evidence was found that the perceptual span was greater for the skilled music readers. The skilled readers did not fixate on every item in the notation in order to perform it accurately.
Evidence was found that the skilled music readers look farther ahead in the notation, then back to the point of performance. Since mean regressive saccade lengths were longer than mean progressive saccade lengths for many of the less skilled music readers, it appears that these fixations were used to "verify" visual information or to seek the tonal center.
While the less skilled music readers fixated on virtually every note, and fixated on the notes of longer rhythmic duration for a longer time than those notes of shorter duration, the skilled readers used the time provided by notes of longer rhythmic duration to explore the notation (often looking from staff to staff). Both groups used fewer and shorter fixations to read the most complex notation, indicating that the spacing of notation greatly affects eye movement and processing time.
Issue Date:1987
Description:371 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721641
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1987

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