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Assessing musical listening: musical perspectives of tertiary students and contemporary Brazilian composers

Grossi, Cristina de Souza (1999) Assessing musical listening: musical perspectives of tertiary students and contemporary Brazilian composers. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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This thesis arose from a concern with assessment in Brazilian higher education music courses, especially in the assessment of ability in aural training classes. A review of literature indicates that musical ability is assessed mainly by an emphasis on the technical and analytical aspects of music. The thrust of this study is that individuals are aware of and value other aspects of music, besides its technicalities, and a comprehensive listening test ought to take this into consideration. The research has two interconnected strands. The first is a theoretical model of categories of musical response derived from aspects of the work of L. B. Meyer (1967) and Swanwick's layers of musical understanding (1988). The second is empirical work drawing on data from two groups of participants - seven contemporary Brazilian composers and forty undergraduate students on a music course and on other courses at a Brazilian university. The empirical work investigates: a) general attitudes of composers and students to music and their correspondence with the categories of the model; and, b) the responses of students to specific musical pieces and whether these fit the categories. The final aim is to explore the implications of the research findings for the assessment of musical listening with particular reference to Brazilian higher education. Analysis of the data revealed that there is a correspondence between Meyer's scheme and the general attitudes to music of composers and students. However, this scheme alone is inadequate to interpret the complexity of actual musical experience; Swanwick's layers provided more useful guidelines. Regarding the musical responses of students, six categories were found. The presence of these categories confirms the relative narrowness of conventional listening tests. The implications for Brazilian higher education include the possibility of developing objective and valid criteria to assess musical listening.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Music,Listening,Response,Students,Higher education,Brazil
Subjects: Departments > Culture, Communication and Media
Depositing User: Ms Shinwa Cha
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2015 16:22
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2015 10:19
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