Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jane W. Cassidy


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of varying types of out-of-class web support media and active (performance) versus passive (listening) modes of in-class instructional activities on the ability of university level non-musicians (N = 58) to define and identify specific characteristics of music texture from printed and recorded musical excerpts. Near and far transfer of learning was also examined. Three web support treatments consisted of investigator-designed supplementary web sites, available for out-of-class access, containing visual content only, audio and visual content, or progressively disclosed text, graphics, and sound. Two instructional mode treatments consisted of participation in children's song performance activities or listening to illustrative excerpts representing a wide variety of standard musical styles, genres, and performance media. Both treatments were administered in conjunction with a musical texture unit consisting of six consecutive lessons within the context of a music fundamentals/methods course for undergraduate elementary education majors. Pretest and posttest definition, printed excerpt, and listening excerpt scores, along with post-treatment near and far transfer listening test scores were recorded. Post-treatment subject attitudes were assessed, and web use time was reported. Although posttest gains were significant, results indicated no significant effect on content mastery resulting from variations in web support medium or mode of in-class instruction (p > .05). Participation in children's song performance activities was as effective as listening experiences for texture instruction. Near and far transfer test results were also similar among all subgroups, however, there was a significant interaction between transfer response and instructional mode (p = .0002). Subjects in both the performance group (n = 29) and the listening group (n = 29) were able to identify texture characteristics for recordings of standard literature better than for recordings of children's songs. Self-reported web use time suggested that increased use of web support materials did not result in increased posttest gains, and use of web materials decreased as technical complexity and file size of media increased. Student attitudes toward out-of-class web support were generally positive, but reflected some frustration with home access difficulties and lengthy download times for multimedia files.