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Making Sense of Music: Meanings Children and Adolescents Perceive in Musical Materials

Herbert, Ruth, Dibben, Nicola (2015) Making Sense of Music: Meanings Children and Adolescents Perceive in Musical Materials. In: Proceedings of the Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. . (KAR id:97567)

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What do young people hear when listening to music? Researchers have often privileged uses and functions of music in daily life, rather than exploring how children and adolescents understand music when they listen. This article reports on the third stage of a mixed-method nationwide UK enquiry concerning young people's subjective experiences of music. The third stage focused on meanings 10-18 year olds perceive in music. Participants with varying levels of musical training (N = 84) listened to 20 short musical extracts (30s or less), heard through headphones, to which they gave free written responses. Prior general level of musical involvement (listening, playing and training) was assessed using the Music USE questionnaire. 10-c.13 year olds were more likely than older participants to experience induced affect, use first-person pronouns, describe self-in-scenario visualisations, demonstrate vicarious experience through music. 16-18 year olds often utilized a more objective, detached mode of reporting characterised by a sense of connoisseurship. The mediating cognitive/evaluative effect of formal music education was apparent, both in technical vocabulary used and in an association between self-in-scenario fantasies and less exposure to musical training. Across the age range reports highlighted perceived meanings indirectly related or detached from original source specifications; participants made sense of music in relation to other media experiences, with mental imagery prevalent.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF41 Psychology and philosophy
M Music and Books on Music
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Ruth Herbert
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2022 12:29 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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