University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


This study explores the influences of various musical, environmental, and personal factors on string students' preferences for selections of Western Art Music. The purpose of this study was to provide insight into the information of music preferences by young string students in order to allow teachers to introduce Western Art music most effectively. Participants (n = 498) from northwest Arkansas public school string programs were given the String Student Music Preference Questionnaire (SSMPQ) developed by the author. Part One of the SS~MPQ measured preference for six one-minute selections of Western Art music by Beethoven, Berlioz, Mahle1; Saint-Siiens, and Schoenberg. In Part Two, the researcher collected data on participants' age, gender, musical experience, social influence and listening habits. It was determined that the musical examples with characteristics similar to popular music were most preferred. These characteristics included: fast tempo, steady rhythm, stable dynamics, identifiable instntmentation, and moderate complexity. Age, social influences, and listening habits did not significantly affect preference, while the gender and the live attendance portion of the musical experience variables significantly influenced participant preference.