Nonmusic Majors' Cognitive and Affective Responses to Performance and Programmatic Music Videos

  • Geringer J
  • Cassidy J
  • Byo J
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This study was designed to compare the effects of different kinds of visual presentations and music alone on university nonmusic students' affective and cognitive responses to music. Four groups of participants were presented with excerpts from the first and fourth movements of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in F major (“Pastoral”). Two groups heard music excerpts only, one interpretation conducted by Stowkowski and one by Bernstein. One of the video groups viewed corresponding excerpts from the movie Fantasia while listening to the Stowkowski recording. A second group viewed and listened to a performance video of the Vienna Philharmonic filmed during the Bernstein recording. All students (N = 128) completed cognitive listening tests based on the excerpts, rated the music on Likert-type affective scales, and responded to two open-ended questions. Significant effects of presentation condition were found. Cognitive scores were higher for the performance video than the music plus animation video on both movements. Scores for the two music-only presentations were not significantly different from each other or the two video presentations. Although affective ratings were not significantly different in magnitude between the presentation groups, the animation video (Fantasia) presentation ranked consistently higher in affect than the other presentations. Implications of these results regarding the effects of different types of visual information presented to music listeners are discussed. Reprinted

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  • John M. Geringer

  • Jane W. Cassidy

  • James L. Byo

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