Abstract

This study was a preliminary investigation of pitch-matching accuracy under two conditions: a cappella and accompanied singing of a standard song. Two classes of second-grade children (N = 26) were taught "America" on a neutral syllable ("loo"), one class learning it a cappella and the other with piano accompaniment. They rehearsed the song during three class sessions and then were recorded singing a cappella and accompanied (taped piano music via headphones). The first nine pitches of the song were utilized for the study. The recordings were analyzed perceptually for pitch accuracy by three judges and acoustically through the Multispeech software program. Results indicated that inaccurate singing occurred 70% of the time when evaluated by the judges and 80% of the time when analyzed acoustically. There was no significant difference in accuracy among the nine pitches of the song. When singing conditions were compared, the perceptual analysis suggested a significant difference in singing accuracy under the a cappella condition; acoustical analysis did not demonstrate this difference.

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