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Reinventing music theory pedagogy: The development and use of a CAI program to guide students in the analysis of musical form

, University of Maryland, College Park, United States

University of Maryland, College Park . Awarded


The field of music theory pedagogy is constantly evolving as studies are conducted relating to learning theories, teaching techniques, curriculum structure, and textbook design. Many of the methods of teaching music theory have remained standard for hundreds of years; however, one factor is destined to change the field of music theory pedagogy: the integration of technology. Although multitudes of studies have been conducted on the efficacy of Computer Assisted Instruction in music theory, no studies have been conducted on the use of computers to help students better understand musical form.

This study seeks to outline the design process and student usage of a software program, inForm, which guides the student towards a better understanding of musical form. Two years of observations in form and analysis classes at the University of Maryland, along with an examination of prevalent form and analysis textbooks, contributed greatly to the design of inForm. This study focuses on the outcome of these student observations as well as the accumulation of definitions used within the inForm program. Information on previous studies relating to the learning of musical form is also discussed.

The final qualitative analysis of the inForm program indicated that the program was helpful to many students in the understanding of musical form. This analysis also provided useful suggestions on further revisions needed on the inForm program. Valuable information concerning students' analytical processes was also obtained. By using and analyzing such data, instructors may begin to understand the analytical processes of students, and accordingly tailor class discussion and curriculum design.


Sterling, J.E. Reinventing music theory pedagogy: The development and use of a CAI program to guide students in the analysis of musical form. Ph.D. thesis, University of Maryland, College Park. Retrieved April 19, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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