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Title:An Investigation of Responses to Groupings in Tonal Music by Children of Different Grade-Levels and Different Ethnic Backgrounds
Author(s):Escobar, Urias Betoel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Boardman, Eunice
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ed.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Music
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to investigate the response of children of different grade level and different ethnic backgrounds to groupings in tonal music. The study examined the extent to which the presence of specified melodic, rhythmic and harmonic characteristics present in selected songs influenced the responses of fourth, fifth and sixth grade children of white, hispanic and black backgrounds.
Subjects were 108 children from white, hispanic and black backgrounds selected from the fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes of the C. M. Bardwell school in Aurora, Illinois. For the collection of data, a testing instrument of twelve musical examples containing 58 groupings was developed. These 58 groupings reflected a nearly balanced presence of melodic (ascending, descending and melodic leap); rhythmic (note duration, down beat and repetition); and harmonic (tonic and nontonic) characteristics. Children were asked to respond by clapping at the end of each grouping they heard in the music.
An item analysis, two-way ANOVA, logistic regression analysis and post hoc comparison of means were employed to analyze the children's responses. Results indicated that the majority of children were sensitive to the perception of groupings as determined by musical experts. There was no statistically significant difference in the responses to groupings among the children of different ethnic backgrounds. Sixth graders performed better than fourth and fifth graders, in that order, but statistically significant differences were found only between grades fifth and sixth. Statistically significant differences were found in the effect of the specified musical characteristics. Sixth graders performed better than fifth graders when tonic and repetition were present. Sixth graders also did better than fourth graders when note duration was present. Whites responded better than hispanics when strong beat was present. Sixth grade hispanics responded better than fifth grade blacks when tonic was present. Sixth grade hispanics also performed better than fourth graders of the same ethnic group when note duration was present.
Differences were also observed (but not statistically significant) among the other musical characteristics. When the ascending melodic contour variable was present, fourth graders responded better than sixth and fifth graders and blacks responded better than hispanics and whites. When descending contour was present, fourth graders responded better than fifth and sixth graders and blacks did better than hispanics and whites. In the melodic leap variable, sixth graders responded better than fifth and fourth graders and blacks did better than hispanics and whites.
It was concluded that these children were sensitive to the perception of groupings and that different groups of children perceive musical groupings in different ways and are influenced by particular musical characteristics to varying degrees.
Issue Date:1992
Type:Text
Description:157 p.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/72432
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9236454
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1992


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