Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The purposes of this qualitative study were to 1) provide a holistic description of procedures used by undergraduate instrumental music education majors (N = 21) in music score study tasks; 2) examine relationships among these procedures and their use in varying musical contexts; 3) examine relationships among score study tendencies, education level, and overall musical ability; and 4) provide general comparisons of undergraduate music education majors’ score study procedures and those implied by expert conductors’ major disciplinary ways of thinking. Each subject participated in two one-on-one interview sessions with the investigator. During each session, subjects “thought out loud” as they studied one solo score and one full score with intentions of performing the former and rehearsing the latter. Each task was followed by an interview done to assess knowledge of the composer, style, and genre of the music being studied. An introductory interview was conducted to assess subjects’ perceptions, opinions, and beliefs about score study. The most salient issue suggested by the results of this study was an overall lack of transfer of knowledge demonstrated by subjects in several key areas. Responses given during score study interviews indicated that, overall, subjects recognized the importance of score study as a means towards development of an internal sound image (in agreement with expert conductors). Procedures demonstrated by subjects, however, demonstrated little evidence of internal sound image development. Responses given during composer interviews suggested that subjects possess knowledge of composers, musical style, and genre, and that this knowledge tended to increase with education and experience. Subjects did not use this knowledge to contextualize the score or to facilitate decision making during the score study process. In general, subjects tended to focus on expressive elements in the study of solo scores, but in study of full scores tended to favor an approach that focused on technical elements. Results also suggested positive effects of undergraduate course work and teaching experience as evidenced by increased frequency and accuracy of descriptions of music elements in score study tasks and of responses given during composer interviews.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

James L. Byo



Included in

Music Commons