The Effects Of A Microcomputer-Assisted Tuning Program On Junior High School Students' Pitch Discrimination And Pitch-Matching Abilities (intonation, Computer-Assisted)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Music Education


Although research continues in the areas of pitch discrimination and pitch-matching, intonation problems continue to plague musicians. Future directions in this area seem to point towards new and innovative teaching techniques. The hypothesis of this study was that a computer-assisted tuning program would be effective in improving students' pitch discrimination and pitch-matching abilities.Seventy-four 8th-grade computer students from within each of two Dade County junior high schools were randomly assigned to either an experimental or a control group. Computer students were used for the study rather than music students because they had daily access to the computers.The experimental group received the treatment variable, William R. Higgins' "Tuning Tutor" tuning instructional game, for approximately 25 minutes per day for 10 days. The "Tuning Tutor" is designed to develop pitch-matching skills. The objective of the game program is to move the out-of-tune tone to its correct in-tune pitch and immediately check the result. Competency in this task is determined by the speed with which the student discovers the intonation problem and by the accuracy with which the tones are matched. Collection of data for the tuning game for the pre- and posttests was generated by means of computer analysis of subjects' responses and was reported on individual print-outs.Due to limitations of the design and other parameters of the study, results revealed those students who received instruction using the "Tuning Tutor" program did not show a greater increase in pretest-posttest change scores on the three dependent measures than those students who received no instruction with the program. However, the differences between the mean pretest and posttest scores on the "Tuning Tutor" Game Points and Time/Score Index within each group were statistically significant.


Education, Music

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