Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Harmonic dictation materials available in the Ear-Training Laboratory at Louisiana State University were programmed for computer presentation in order to observe the effects of the computer medium in comparison to the traditional laboratory approach. In accordance with the Solomon Four-Group Design, the sixty-two second-semester freshman music theory students were assigned randomly to computer and tape groups. Half of each group was assigned at random to take a pretest which was designed by the experimenter. After six withdrawals from the course, a total research population of fity-six students remained. Members of both the experimental and control groups were asked to practice a minimum of thirty minutes twice a week. Additional practice was encouraged. Approximately three hours (playing time) of reel-to-reel tapes were available for practice by the control group. The actual time spent on those tapes varied greatly from one individual to another. There were ten programs available for practice by the experimental group. Each program was designed to take approximately thirty minutes for the "average" student to complete. The experiment was scheduled to begin January 19, 1981, but due to unavoidable delivery delays, the actual time period was from February 9, 1981, through March 13, 1981. The five-week experiment concluded with a posttest taken by the entire research population. In order to have points of reference for comparison for each student, scores for the final examination of the previous semester (December 1980) were collected. To test any long-range effect, scores from the final examination (May 1981) were also collected. Several analytical procedures from the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) were utilized to study the available data. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), t-test, paired t-test, chi square, regression, and Pearson correlation statistics were employed. Preference for computer practice was significant at the .001 level. Mean gain scores from the December final to the posttest were significant at .01, and those from the December final to the May final were significant at .0001. Differences in mean scores on the posttest were significant at .10. Reaction to the computer was positive.