06 May 2010

Graduate Study Day on Friday 21st May 2010

10.00 Lorna Carter
Music and Dyslexia: The Experiences of Musicians in Higher Education on how Dyslexia has influenced their Musical Development

It is now commonly known that dyslexia affects the development of musical skills. This research looks at the impact that dyslexia has had on instrumental students within British music colleges. So far data has been collected through online questionnaires and focuses on student’s musical experience of dyslexia and any strategies that have been put in place to overcome the challenges they face. Due to ongoing data collection I will present a brief summary of findings so far and how they will influence the next stages of research and possible implications.

10.30 Jessica Cho
Peter Sculthorpe: Piano piece

10.45 Yuko Morimoto
Pleasure or Boredom? Familiarity and Aesthetic Responses to Cadenza

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of familiarity and expectations on aesthetic responses to the cadenza of Mozart’s Piano concerto No 20 in D minor, K 466. Expectations are supposed to be generated through repeated exposure of the same or similar patterns and to affect the listener’s emotions and aesthetic responses. Accurate prediction of upcoming musical events evoke pleasure, but at the same time a consistent fulfillment of expectations often leads to boredom. A positively valenced surprise aroused by the violation of expectation also gives us pleasure in listening to music (Huron 2006, Bharucha 1994).

Cadenza is an improvisational virtuosic part of a concerto movement which refers to materials introduced earlier in the musical piece and combines these in novel and often surprising ways. Nowadays performers usually play the same version rather than inventing their own cadenza. Listeners who are familiar with piano concerto of the 18th century are supposed to already have expectations for cadenza to some extent. How then, do listeners aesthetically perceive various performances of the same cadenza and how do familiarity and expectation affect their aesthetic responses? The hypothesis is that knowledge of the composition considerably enhances the appreciation of novelty and surprise in the cadenza, and therefore we expect listeners to increase their appreciation of cadenza after repeated listening to the piece of music.

A listening experiment is carried out to test this prediction. Participants are asked to indicate moments of pleasure and boredom within the cadenza after listening to the musical piece once, and after familiarization with the exposition. An analysis of these moments is further endorsed to explore the type of musical developments that are aesthetically appreciated.

11.15 Coffee

11.45 Anna Easton
Nielsen: Fantasy Piece

12.00 Hui Ting Khoo
Beethoven : Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10, No. 1 - First movement

The Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10, No. 1 composed by Beethoven is a piece dedicated to the Count’s wife, Anna Margarete. The Count, Johann Georg von Browne (1767-1827) is a wealthy patron of the arts of Irish descent. He was an officer in the Imperial Russian Army. The first movement of the sonata is written in sonata form. The character of the piece begins with a tremendous loud and energetic theme follow by soft contrasting phrases. The second theme modulates to the relative major which is in E-flat major. The second theme occurs after a soft modulating passage which lasted for 24 measures. However, the second theme appears to be in the key of F major before returning to C minor in the recapitulation section.

12.15 Victor Hsu
Kuo Chih-Yuan: Ancient Taiwan Music Fantasia

I will perform this piano piece address the relationship between it and Taiwanese beiguan music ‘Shu Di Yu’(The underwater Fish’).

12.30 Eden Ho
What do teenagers expect to achieve through pursuing music?

It has been shown by many past researchers that family, teachers, peers, culture and the environment, all play an important role in influencing and motivating a child’s musical development. But a question not as clearly explored is, what is the child or teenager’s point of view in this learning process? What exactly do they want to achieve through music? This study, from a teenager’s point of view, investigates what music students expect to achieve through learning music in a school setting; and the influence of the pop culture on musical development. A group of year 9 students from three schools were invited to take part in this study. The research methods used in this study are questionnaires and focus group sessions. This is still an ongoing project; therefore all suggestions, implications and criticisms are welcome.

1.00 Lunch

2.00 Andy Kirkham
Savannah Syncopators revisited

Over roughly the last half-century, numerous claims have been advanced regarding the possible existence and extent of African musical retentions in the Blues. This process is still under way, with much recent attention having been focussed on the modern, largely guitar led, musical form which has come to be termed “Malian Blues.” My intentions are:
To provide a brief historical review of some of the claims for African survivals in the Blues
To attempt to determine whether such claims as have been advanced can genuinely be sustained - taking Paul Oliver’s mid 60s field work as a starting point
To examine possible motivations behind such claims; e.g. were early collectors and marketers using these notions to try to put audiences at ease with the often strange and occasionally uncomfortable aesthetics of pre-war Blues?
Finally, to examine how such questions of perceptions of African-ness, authenticity and the, still extant, “white men can’t…” syndrome might affect the repertoires, perceptions and opinions of predominantly white European blues practitioners – this to be achieved through an email questionnaire

2.30 Ming-Hui Ma
The comparison of the Pipa and the Sitar in contemporary performance: instrument-body interface? (instrumental structure, posture and hand posture)

Instruments play an important role in the process of music-making and reflect human experience in their culture. Various styles in performance are presented through the instrumental manipulation by humans. My research focuses on the comparison of the pipa and the sitar in performance, aiming to discover more inner principles of the process of music-making and to analyse the phenomenon of the evolution and establishment of identity in the globalisation flow. This chapter emphasizes the analysis of the interface between body and instrument in the contemporary performance, aiming to analyse and investigate the similarity and difference between these two instruments through the discussion from different aspects and trying to find out the human experience in their culture behind the style in performance. Today’s presentation focuses on the first three aspects in chapter 2, instrumental structure, posture and hand posture through the material from the fieldwork both in interview and in participant-observation in the contemporary instrumental performance.

3.00 Zihui Shen
Mendelssohn: Rondo capriccioso op.14

3.15 Xintong Li
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, op.13 (Pathétique) - First movement

3.30 Liam Hindson
Schumann: Violin Sonata No.1 in A minor, op.105 - First movement

3.45 Tea

4.00 Dane Ollivier
Musical identity among adults

Interest in music identity has tended to focus on adolescents and the elderly without giving much thought to the years in between. Research has suggested that 23 years old is a critical age for the formation of lasting music preferences (Holbrook & Schindler, 1989). This presentation describes the first phase of data collection for an exploratory research project into the relationship between music preference and identity and the impact of peer influence. An online questionnaire was primarily used for two reasons: (1) a pilot study that aimed to highlight differences (or similarities) between individuals who hold multiple (music) group belongings; and (2) to create informed interview questions to better understand the role of music in peoples’ perceived and projected identities. 343 useable responses were included in the analysis and yielded both qualitative and quantitative results. Quantitative responses indicated tentative support for Optimal Distinctiveness Theory (Brewer, 1991). Interestingly, results indicated that respondents do not agree that their music preference would infer judgement of them. Themes raised within the qualitative data indicated personal development towards the creation of a more solidified identity, created by individuals’ active involvement with music. The second phase of data collection will look more deeply into the changes that have occurred within individuals and provide a more coherent analysis of collected data.

4.30 Theresa Veltri
Preferences for musical structure as a function of personality

The purpose of the current study is to investigate the relationship between emotional engagement in music and musical structure preferences based on personality characteristics as defined by the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II (KTSII). Previous research has found significant correlations between the sensing-intuition dimension of personality. Intuitive based listeners respond to music with greater intensity and diversity, whilst sensing subjects are more receptive to a wide variety of music and prefer to be involved during music listening rather than passively exposed. Correlations of the thinking-feeling dimension reveal significant differences in listening strategies. “Feelers” use associative strategies during music listening, while “thinkers” take a more cognitive approach. Past research seems to conclude that different personality types interact with music differently. This surfaces the question: Do different personalities rely on different musical structures to achieve emotional responses to music? The aim of the current study is to examine which musical structures potentially serve as emotional triggers for non-musicians based on the sensing-intuition and thinking-feeling dimensions of personality. To investigate this, the KTSII personality test is first administered, after which participants partake in a one-hour interview concerning emotional engagement and musical structures from two pieces of music, one which is given, and one which is self-chosen. The experiment is currently in progress, but offers tenative conclusions and thoughtful implications.