An exploratory study examining musicians' perceptual styles was conducted. Musicians described the musical elements they heard while listening to a movement of a symphony by W. A. Mozart. Hierarchical clustering was used to analyze the data. The descriptions revealed individual differences in perceiving the richness and complexity of the music. Different perceptual styles emerged. Some musicians listen to music holistically, reporting on entire phrases and sections, while others listen analytically, giving detailed descriptions as the music unfolds. Some of the major features of the classical musical style (i.e., tonality, rhythm, chords) show little variability among individuals, thus serving as landmarks in the perception of this movement. Individual listening strategies were found to be independent of the musicians major performance instrument and training in composition. The differences among musicians for listening to a musical performance are compared to the differences reported in the literature for story recall and language process
Aiello, Rita; Tanka, J. S.; and Winborne, Wayne C.
"Listening to Mozart: Perceptual Differences Among Musicians,"
Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy: Vol. 4, Article 13.
Available at: https://digitalcollections.lipscomb.edu/jmtp/vol4/iss1/13