Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The main purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of pitch tracking and correction (auto-tuning) on the intonation performed by high school clarinet (n = 30) and trumpet (n = 30) players with at least three years of experience in the large ensemble setting. Participants (N = 60) were assigned to one of three treatment groups, each differentiated by means of intonation evaluation. An aural group (n = 20) used Real Time Pitch Tracking and Correction (RTPTC) software; a visual group (n = 20) used an electronic tuner; and a control group (n = 20) “played in-tune to the best of your ability.” All three groups played target pitches documented as unstable from an intonation standpoint (clarinet A4 and trumpet D4) in single-pitch, melodic, and ensemble contexts. All performances were evaluated for cent deviation through the RTPTC software. The 2-way interactions of instrument x lessons (p = .05), context x group (p < .05), and instrument x context (p < .05) were found to be significant. Clarinet participants with private lesson experience performed with more accurate but overall sharper intonation than their trumpet counterparts. Aural and visual groups were able to perform below the threshold of the just noticeable difference in the single pitch context and improved from out-of-tune to in-tune across treatments, while results for these groups in the melodic and ensemble contexts were mixed and may have been affected by the constraints of time. The control group showed improvement across the melodic treatment, but those improvements have questionable musical significance as they are not below the threshold of the just noticeable difference. Clarinets performed significantly more in-tune than trumpets in the single pitch context, while the opposite was true in the melodic and ensemble contexts. The main effects of group, instrument, context and lessons were not statistically significant (p > .05). Responses to student questionnaires reflected knowledge of tuning strategies among a portion of participants including instrument tendencies, beat elimination techniques, and methods for correction. Time may have been a confounding factor related to comfort with included technology, based on student questionnaire responses. Director responses yielded themes related to fostering student independence with intonation, and daily use of methods for teaching intonation including the above mentioned tendencies, beat elimination, and correction strategies.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Cassidy, Jane W



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Music Commons