Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The purpose of this project was to develop a sequence of computer-assisted instruction programs in the area of music fundamentals designed for the non-music major in an elementary music methods class. First, the sequence of concepts was defined; secondly, specific programs needed to enhance the understanding of the concepts were defined. A Xitan Z-80 microcomputer, with 32 K and cassette bulk storage, Hitachi 12-inch CRT video monitor, and an ASCII keyboard were the hardware employed in programming. System software included BASIC and assembly language. Programs were then tested for accuracy and logic by sample runs, often revised, and finally stored on magnetic tape. The musical abilities and knowledge of music fundamentals possessed by elementary education majors upon entering a music methods class are varied. A few students are musically literate, but most have limited or little background in the rudiments of music. For the majority of the students, repetitions in practice with fundamentals, such as scales and key signatures, are necessary. Time spent on these numerous drills, often boring to the musically talented student, could be more efficiently used in musical activities. Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) has been utilized in many fields of education to solve the repetition drill problem. Drill-and-practice computer programs have been found to be successful in helping students meet their individual needs. The individualized instruction, along with immediate feedback and increased student motivation have been positive learning tools. In constructing CAI materials, an attribute surfaced for the educator enhancing the learning experience for the student: the educator had to rethink and reformulate the educational practice and specify the conditions of learning in a precise manner. Rhythm, melody, harmony, and terminology were the four major subdivisions of music theory chosen for development. Most programs are random, give a score following each run, are in a question and answer format, and some use graphics. The programs constructed are as follows: Rhythm--Fill in the missing note in various meters, rhythm values and equivalents, concepts of rhythm, syncopation, and rhythm syllables. Melody. Pitch Notation--Pitch names (treble clef, bass clef, grand staff, and keyboard), half and whole steps and enharmonic pitches. Key signatures--Major, minor, and major and minor combined: sharps, flats, sharps and flats combined (name the key, how many sharps or flats, name the sharps or flats in order {easy and difficult versions}). Scales--Major (sharps, flats, sharps and flats combined {easy and difficult versions}), natural minor (sharps, flats, and sharps and flats combined {easy and difficult versions}), harmonic minor, and melodic minor. Harmony--Intervals, major and minor thirds, major and minor chords, primary chords (I, IV, and V('7)). Terminology--Randomly and non-randomly sequenced question and answer format questions. Music educators should become aware of the current state of technology in CAI and also of the studies on the subject of CAI in music. Those musicians already engaged in research and programming should conduct accurate statistical studies involving a large population. Some projects have been documented and reported, but many more statistical studies are needed to fully document CAI's benefits to students, as well as to discover and report its disadvantages and misconceptions.