Amanda DeFrees, Texas A&M University – Kingsville

Melodic, Rhythmic, and Kinesthetic Evidence of Infant Music Syntax Acquisition: A Naturalistic Case Investigation

Abstract: Though human music perception begins in utero (Lecanuer, 1996) and humans are capable of detecting minute differences in tonal and rhythm patterns, melodic contours, and phrase structures during infancy, (Krumhansl & Jusczyk, 1990; Trehub, Bull, & Thorpe, 1984; Trehub, Thorpe & Trainor, 1990), little objective evidence exists regarding how humans use music perception for music syntax acquisition in naturalistic environments (Hicks, 1993; Holohan, 1987; Reynold, 1995). The purpose of the research project is to investigate a 6-month-old infant’s melodic, rhythmic, and kinesthetic responses within a 3-month period during 10 music play sessions at home. The video clips of the child’s musical responses will be coded using a video analysis software, Scribe 4.0. Behavior patterns will be color-coded by categories of tonal patterns, rhythm patterns, melodic patterns, song, movement, and rhythm chant. Results will be analyzed to determine if there are trends across the ten music play sessions. Discussion of the findings, as well as recommendations for future research directions will be stipulated at the end of the research project.

Presentation Author(s):
Dr. Catherine Tu*, Amanda DeFrees, Pamela Lopez, Liana Rekward, Colin Rusling, Brenda Hernandez

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