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ERIC Number: EJ1102246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-2379-9021
The Effect of Key on Vocal Sight-Reading Achievement
Henry, Michele L.
Texas Music Education Research, p3-8 2013
At its most basic level, sight-reading can be defined as the production of accurate pitch and rhythm from a previously unseen musical score. For vocalists, sight-reading principally involves the production of pitches by determining their relationship within a tonal framework. The ability to mentally conceive tonal function and convert it into vocalized pitch is the focus of vocal sight-readers and largely determines their overall success at the sight-reading task. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of key on vocal sight-reading achievement. Research questions include: (1) What is the overall vocal sight-reading ability of high school choral singers when performing individually, in terms of pitch, rhythm, and total score? (2) Is there a significant difference in scores between performances in different keys? (3) Is there a significant difference in scores between grade levels? (4) Is there a significant difference in scores based on other factors, such as sight-reading system, choral experience, private voice study, keyboard experience, or other instrumental experience? Participants in this study were high school singers attending a summer choral camp in the state of Texas (n = 280). They completed a brief survey requesting demographic information including their upcoming grade level, choral experience, keyboard experience, other instrumental experience, and sight-singing system. Each participant then individually entered one of three randomly assigned testing rooms, returned the survey, and was asked to sight-sing a single melody. The melody appeared in either the key of F, D, or E-flat, depending on the testing room. They were asked to sing the melody using their preferred method of sight-singing. Upper-level and graduate choral music education students served as the test administrators. Each participant received a score of 0-10, based on the number of skills that were performed accurately. The overall mean score for pitch and rhythm was 6.96 out of a possible total score of 10. Pitch skills averaged 4.35/6 or 72.5% accuracy, while rhythm skills averaged 2.61/4 or 65.2% accuracy. Using a post hoc Tukey-Kramer HSD, a significant difference in total score was found between 12th grade and 9th grade (q = 3.91, p < 0.0007) and 10th grade (q = 3.90, p < 0007), and between 11th grade and 9th grade (q = 3.34, p < 0.005), and 10th grade (q = 2.95, p < 0.02). There was no significant difference between 12th grade and 11th grade. The amount of school choral experience F(7, 272) = 12.68, p < 0.0004 or keyboard experience F(7, 272) =3.80, p = 0.05 affected total scores but participation in voice lessons and type of reading system used did not. [Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Texas Music Educators Association (San Antonio, TX, Feb 2013).]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A