The authors of this study deserve a huge shiny medal. Or perhaps some medication. If you don’t know what we are talking about, watch this (we hope you have a strong constitution):
The use of music on Barney & Friends: implications for music therapy practice and research.
“This descriptive study examined the music content of 88 episodes from the PBS television show Barney & Friends, which aired from September 1992 to September 1998, in an attempt to quantify musical examples and presentations that may be considered introductory music experiences for preschoolers. Using many of the procedures identified by Wolfe and Stambaugh (1993) in their study on the music of Sesame Street, 25% of Barney & Friends’ 88 episodes were analyzed by using the computer observation program SCRIBE in determining: (a) the temporal use of music; (b) performance medium; and (c) intention of music use. Furthermore, each structural prompt presentation (n = 749) from all 88 episodes was examined for: (a) tempo; (b) vocal range; (c) music style; (d) word clarity; (e) repetition; (f) vocal modeling; and (g) movement. Results revealed that the show contained more music (92.2%) than nonmusic (7.8%), with the majority of this music containing instrumental sounds (61%). The function of this music was distributed equally between structural prompt music (48%) and background music (48%). The majority of the structural prompt music contained newly composed material (52%), while 33% consisted of previously composed material. Fifteen percent contained a combination of newly composed and previously composed material. The most common tempo range for presentations on the show was 80-100 bpm, while vocal ranges of a 9th, 8th, 6th, and 7th were predominant and most often sung by children’s voices. The adult male voice was also common, with 84% of all adult vocals being male. The tessitura category with the greatest number of appearances was middle C to C above (n = 133), with the majority of the presentations (n = 435, 73%) extending singers’ voices over the register lift of B above middle C. Children’s music and music of the American heritage were the most common style categories observed, and these two categories combined on 260 (35%) presentations. The use of choreographed movement and props/costumes was also prevalent, and may have contributed to high interobserver reliability of tempo. Implications for music therapists and teachers working with young children and music researchers examining various epistemological questions of music learning and behavior are discussed.”
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Opera makes me want to kill myself.
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