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Title: Imagination in music : children's constructs
Author: Ward, J. D.
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1984
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Field of study This study represents an attempt to formulate a theoretical basis for musical experience in general and for music education in particular. The theory, derived from Kantian aesthetics, is that musical experience is mind-centred and rooted in imagination. First, an examination of the part imagination plays in perception, apprehension and creativity is presented; its particular role in musical experience is then analysed. Next, there is a critical review of appropriate methodology and this is followed by a detailed account of experimental work with young children. The experimental work includes: responses to electronic pieces; the invention of melodies and rhythms by children; the perception of consonance and dissonance; the fine discrimination of pitch and timbre. Methodology The overall research design entails a top-down analytical method beginning with the collation of verbal responses to electronic pieces and leading to the precise testing of children's fine discrimination of pitch and timbre. The methodology -part of which is probably novel- is derived from Personal Construct Theory (George Kelly) and also from Piaget's deductive 'clinical' approach. To this end, a variety of tasks ~ere given to a relatively small number of children (120) in groups of four. These tasks, both prescribed and open-ended, were well-defined. Results and conclusions The children in the sample -120 seven year-old boys and girls- demonstrated the ability to: 1. hold an aural image in the mind in order to compare it with another 2. form images to facilitate the representation of broad qualitative inter-sensory experience 3. make fine discriminations of pitch and timbre 4. employ mental constructs in melodic and rhythmic inventions The general conclusion from the study is that a mind-centred theory for music education is tenable, with the implication that pedagogy should be appropriately planned and focussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Music education; Kantian aesthetics