Title

Background Music and Its Effects On Four-Year-Old Children's Rhythm Discriminatory Abilities

Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Music

First Advisor

Charles Elliott

Advisor Department

Music

Abstract

This study examined the effect of background music on four-year-old children's rhythmic aptitude and discriminatory abilities. Other variables studied were gender and Baroque musical preferences. One hundred and twenty eight children from six early childhood centers in South Mississippi served as subjects. The subjects were assigned to one of three treatment groups according to the number of times they were to be exposed to selected recordings of Baroque instrumental music. The Double Violin Concerto in D Minor by J. S. Bach was the only work that Group Bach heard for one month, an hour each day. Group Variety heard a variety of Baroque literature. The Group Control did not hear any Baroque background music as a part of the treatment protocol. Data were collected by means of administering two surveys and by use of a standardized instrument for the pre- and posttests. The surveys were created by the researcher for the purpose of gathering information about the environments surrounding the subjects. The standardized test used were Simons Measurements of Music Listening Skills (rhythm subtest #7) and AUDIE (rhythm subtest). Musical preference data were acquired by presenting the subjects with a question about their preference. The data were analyzed using a three-way ANCOVA. The analysis of the AUDIE and MMLS scores at the .05 level of significance revealed no statistically significant differences between treatment groups Bach, Variety or Control. The analysis of AUDIE and MMLS scores at the .05 level of significance revealed no statistically significant differences between scores of male and female subjects. The analysis of the AUDIE and MMLS scores at the .05 level of significance revealed no statistically significant differences between mean scores and musical preferences. The analysis of the AUDIE and MMLS scores at the .05 level of significance revealed no statistically significant differences between treatment groups, gender or preferences. Based on the results of the data, it can not be stated that Baroque music heard in the background will affect rhythmic aptitude and discriminatory abilities or musical preferences or musical preferences.