Melodic improvisation at the age of 6-11 years: Development of pitch and rhythm
Paananen, P. A. (2007). Melodic improvisation at the age of 6-11 years: Development of pitch and rhythm. Musicae Scientiae 11(1), 89-120.
The keyboard melodic improvisations of 6-11-year-old children (N=36) were explored for age-related development and representational types of production. The hypotheses were founded on a model of musical development by the present author. The participants heard a 24-bar ABA-formed piano-bass-percussion-accompaniment. Section A was tonal and section B was modal, lacking the tonic. Age was a significant factor in the development of the tonal hierarchy. The 6-7-year-old children's general emphasis was on the first five tones of the diatonic scale. The 8-9-year-old children preferred tones present in both sections (event hierarchical orientation). In the 10-11-year-old children's products, the tonic triad was prominent throughout the piece. The profiles of all age groups correlated positively and significantly with Krumhansl & Kessler's (1982) tonal profile, cultural models and the distribution of tones of the accompaniment. The number of rhythm motives and variations was positively correlated with age. Metre affected the selection of tones in all age groups. Age was positively correlated with the strongest beat of the measure. Several representational typeswere found. As the model predicted, the hierarchical structures of tonal music developed sequentially: In the first substage, children focused on either melodic-rhythmic surface or deep structures (tonality, metre); in the next substage, surface and deep structures began to coordinate, and in the final substage, they were fully integrated. ...