The effect of articulation style on perception of tempo in solo violin playing

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca B. MacLeod, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: We investigated effects of legato, staccato and pizzicato articulation styles on the perception of modulated tempos. Seventy-two music majors served as participants. Two solo violin excerpts were chosen with contrasting rhythmic rates and were recorded in all three articulation styles. Examples were presented to listeners in three conditions of tempo modulation: gradual increase, gradual decrease or no change. Tempo changes were produced gradually so that listeners would not notice abrupt changes. Analysis of results showed that articulation style and the direction of modulation affected listeners’ perception of tempo, and, importantly, these two factors interacted significantly. Legato examples were judged as increasing in tempo more (and decreasing less) than staccato and pizzicato examples in both excerpts. Differences between articulation styles were not as large in the example with greater rhythmic activity. Listeners preferred the no-change and tempo-increase modulations to the tempo decreases. Implications for further research, performance practice and teaching are discussed.

Additional Information

International Journal of Music Education, 25 (2), 165-175
Language: English
Date: 2007
legato, performance practice, pizzicato, staccato, style, tempo

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