A descriptive study of high school and university students’ focus of attention in fast and slow orchestral excerpts

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 )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate listener discrimination of orchestral performances and to ascertain focus of listener attention to technical and expressive music elements of those performances. High School (n = 84) and University (n = 84) music students listened to four orchestral excerpts: two slow/soft excerpts and two fast/loud excerpts. Recordings representing three levels of performance were presented: high school, university and professional. Listeners rated excerpts on accuracy and musicality, and identified the most noticeable element of each performance. Results indicated that listeners discriminated between performance levels. In the slow excerpts, university students noticed intonation and tone most frequently, while high school students noticed dynamics and tone. For the fast examples, university students noted dynamics, accuracy and articulation. High school students noticed dynamics overwhelmingly. Listeners noticed a wide variety of elements for the slow examples, whereas responses were more similar for the fast excerpts.

Additional Information

International Journal of Music Education, 27 (3), 220-231
Language: English
Date: 2009
discrimination, focus of attention, high school, music elements, music listening, performance levels

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