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Music and communication: a study of young children's original melodies

By E W Leggatt


Music and Communication: a study of young\ud children's original melodies".\ud Edward Wilaiam Leggatt, 1979.\ud Earlier research (LEGGATT 1974) suggested that young\ud children can communicate moods through original melodies.\ud The present research examines the discriminating effect on\ud mood communication of the components pitch, rhythm and\ud speed. Age, sex, aural disembedding, perception, personality\ud and ambiguity were considered.\ud The hypotheses adopted were:\ud 1. (i). Junior children can communicate through\ud perceived moods in original melodies.\ud (ii). This communication is made by virtue of one\ud or more components.\ud 2. Communication is dependent on Personality.\ud 3. Communication is dependent on the ability\ud to disembed.\ud 4. Children like ambiguous tunes more than they\ud like unambiguous tunes.\ud Five moods identified as "Angryj comical, dreamy,\ud frightened and sad" were chosen. The experimental method\ud required each composer to produce, in random order on\ud different days, five melodies each evocative of a stated\ud mood. Each tune was recorded on magnetic tape so that\ud listeners could have identical renditions. Each tune was\ud then modified by subtracting successively pitch and rhythm.\ud A third modification was altered speed. Tunes were\ud assessed again for mood categorization; a sample was also\ud assessed for preference of ambiguity or unambiguity.\ud The results after computer and manual analvsis sugyýest:\ud 1. Removal of a musical component alters original\ud mood perception and may cause clustering of mood\ud perceptions.\ud 2. There is a connection between type of musical\ud component perceived and mood.\ud 3. Children's preference for ambiguous or unambiguous\ud tunes is influenced by perceived mood of\ud tune. .1\ud 4. Sex, age, personality and aural disembedding\ud ability do not significantly affect categorizations\ud of original or modified tunes.\ud The PP,, neral im-plications are;\ud In children's own tunes, perceived mood varies as\ud components perceived.\ud 2, The effect of certain components on mood perception\ud may be more readily discernible than others.\ud 3-, It is likely that a consensus exists amongst\ud children regarding the embodiment of tunes.\ud 4. Young children seem to sense bonding characteristics\ud between certain moods embodied in tunes

Year: 1979
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