(The abstract to the article “Aesthetic response to choral music: Response comparisons of performer-participants and non-performer respondents,” by Anita P. Davis, published in the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing)
This study compared aesthetic responses of college students currently enrolled in an auditioned women's chorus and college students enrolled in undergraduate introductory music classes to ascertain if there were differences in aesthetic response between those who had recently performed a particular musical work and those who had not performed the work. Both groups listened to an excerpt of two sequential portions taken from Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols as performed by the same women's chorus in which half of the participants for this study were enrolled. Auditors responded in real time by manipulating a pointer on a Continuous Response Digital Interface (CRDI) dial (positive-negative). To examine group differences, the excerpt was analyzed in 11 time intervals of 12.5 seconds. Results indicated that (a) overall ratings of listeners from the performer group were significantly higher, (b) performer group listeners significantly changed their ratings across time, and (c) significant rating differences between performer-listeners and non-performer listeners were found for 5 of the 11 intervals. Results were discussed in terms of possibilities for further research, particularly with respect to investigating possible differences in scope and depth of aesthetic response among those who previously performed a particular choral composition and those who had no experience in performing that particular composition.