Syllabic and prosodic approaches to rhythmic composition: a collective instrumental case study




Eves, R. David

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The purpose of the study was to observe and document the manner through which eight students from two separate Grade 2 classes combined both syllabic (musical) and prosodic (word) rhythmic composing strategies during an eight week composing unit. Through the triangulation of data collected in the form of a research journal, student compositions, videotapes of composing behaviour, and transcriptions of group student interviews, integrated and music dominated group composing processes emerged, as well as four dominant trends of composing behaviour. First, a dialectical relationship between phrasal development and conception of meter was observed to exist depending upon student choice of composing strategy. Second, the influence of leadership roles was observed to play a dominant role in the determination of group composing process. Third, students exhibited differing modes of rhythmic perception during the assembly and performance stages of composition. Fourth and finally, an ambiguity regarding future preferred composing strategy was noted by students. Implications for education include the integration of cross-curricular (music and language) composing units. Further study of the influence of cooperative learning and student perception of meter within the domain of composition is recommended as children were capable of generating linguistic and musical learning opportunities “from the inside-out.”



Syllabic and Prosodic, Rhythmic Composition