The Psychology of Music: A Survey for Teacher and Musician

By Max Schoen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
THE GROWTH OF MUSICAL POWERS

THE SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON THE stages of development of musical powers are not numerous, but the few we have are quite significant. These studies deal with the development of the child's singing voice, the development of musical reproduction and recognition, growth in attitude towards music, and types of listeners among children.


THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SINGING VOICE

Fröschels (27) conducted an investigation with 380 children of both sexes, ranging in age from four to fifteen years, on the development of the vocal range. Each child was called upon to sing the C scale, ascending and descending. The keytone was sounded by a tuning fork and the scale was first sung for the child either by the experimenter or by the teacher. The child was then called upon to sing the scale. If he could not do so because of lack of training or vocal deficiency a song was attempted. If this also failed the assistance of a child of similar age was called upon, since it is well known that some children can imitate the voice of another child better than that of an adult. Only seven children failed in this attempt also. Five of these seven could only utter one or two tones. Some of the smallest children sang only a few tones, but it was quite evident that they only needed training to do better. The vocal range, then, as given for four- and five-year-old children should be taken with some reserve.

Those children who had to sing a song because of inability to sing the scale used only vowels, since singing with words is more difficult, and the vocal range was there fore best determined by the use of vowels only. All children sang either the scale or the song on various vowels, since different vowels have a considerable effect on the tone. The vowels used were a, i, and u.

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