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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of musical training and musical complexity on focus of attention to melody or harmony. Participants (N = 192) were divided into four groups: University Jazz Majors (n = 64); University Music Majors consisting of instrumental performance or music education majors, (n = 64); High School instrumentalists (n = 32) consisting of tenth through twelfth grades, and Junior High School instrumentalists (n = 32) consisting of seventh- and eighth-graders. The university participants were further divided into response mode groups. Half of the music major and jazz major (n = 32) participants responded continuously via the Continuous Response Digital Interface (CRDI). The remaining university participants (n = 32) and the high school and junior high school participants responded via the static Likert-type scale measure. The musical complexity variable was categorized into four levels of melodic complexity (M1 – least complex; M2 – less complex; M3 – more complex; M4 – most complex) and four levels of harmonic complexity (H1 – least complex; H2 – less complex; H3 – more complex; H4 – most complex). Each trial consisted of a melodic complexity/harmonic complexity pairing performed by the same performer on jazz piano. Four levels of melodic complexity and four levels of harmonic complexity produced a total of 16 pairs of stimuli heard by each participant. In an attempt to control for order effect, the stimulus pairs were presented in four block-random orders so that no melodic or harmonic complexity levels would be heard consecutively. A four-factor ANOVA was conducted with two between subjects factors (order and musical training groups) and two within subjects factors (melodic complexity and harmonic complexity). Significant differences were found for focus of attention to melodic complexity, F(3, 504) = 94.63, p
A Dissertation submitted to the School of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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