|dc.description.abstract||MOTIVATION FOR THE INVESTIGATION:
A real need exists within Departments of Education, schools and other training centres for suitable objective measuring devices for selection, placement and diagnosis regarding the musical aptitude of pupils and students. The sooner special aptitude in a child is discovered and opportunities for further development are given, the better the chances for future success, achievement and self-realisation.
This study was undertaken with the purpose of investigating and defining more exactly, on the basis of a review of the literature available on the one hand and the practical application of a number of standardised tests on the other, the essence of musical aptitude. It was also attempted to determine the possible relation between musical aptitude and variables such as the spoken language, sex, age, interests and preferences as well as the influence of musical experiences and training.
In the first place an extensive review of the literature available was undertaken, numerous descriptions and definitions of aptitude in general and musical aptitude in particular were analysed and the most important elements extracted. On the basis of this procedure a synoptic definition was formulated. Secondly, the measurement of musical aptitude was investigated, the technical requirements and criteria which aptitude measurement must comply with were analysed and a large number of existing musical aptitude tests were reviewed and analysed into components. The purpose was to determine deductively from this the essential characteristics required of a musical aptitude test. In the third place an empirical investigation in three stages was conducted. During the preparatory stage the "Measures of Musical Abilities" test by Bentley was used and a number of experiments were carried out with groups of scholars and students to investigate the area of musical aptitude measurement especially with regards to test reliability and validity. A preliminary investigation with a large number of pupils from 50 primary and 20 secondary schools followed and various statistical techniques were applied to the acquired test data. The Bentley test was once more applied and put to the test under a wide variety of conditions. For the main investigation a stratified sample of 4379 pupils was used as well as a control group of 188 scholars who were at the time engaged in specialised musical training. In addition to the Bentley test Colwell's "Musical Achievement Tests" I and Gaston's "Test of Musicality" was applied, as well as an interest and preference test compiled by the author. The sound tracks of these tests were adapted so that both English and Afrikaans speaking pupils could be accommodated. The statistical operations performed included calculation of correlation coefficient, item analysis and the determining of norms as well as factor analysis.
MAIN FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS:
• Musical aptitude must be regarded as a theoretical construct which explains specific behavioural patterns as reflected in test results. It can further: more be described as the potential ability for musical development, including apprehension, skill and achievement or performance ability. The essence of musical aptitude finds its most distinctive evidence in the conceptual framework of rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and formal relationships which develop through a progressive organisation of musical perceptions
• The measurement and evaluation of musical aptitude should include both the perceptual as well as the interpretative aspects. The first include not only mere audio-acoustical perception but especially the judicious-musical perceptual aspect -cognitive operational thought as regards the organisation of sound structures and co-ordination between relationships. Extra-musical factors such as interest, home stimulation, socio-economic background, musical experience and training obviously play an important role in the manifestation of musical aptitude and must be taken into account in evaluation.
• The direct relationship between inherited factors and musical aptitude cannot be determined exactly. The speed with which musical tasks can be performed and the individual's eventual level of achievement are probably to some extent dependent on genetic determinants. On the other hand, characteristics acquired by general environmental influences and direct training play an important part. It follows that elements of musical aptitude such as pitch discrimination, rhythmical and tonal memory do not, consequently, represent constant, unchangeable data but are dependent on the influence of musical experience, general mental maturation and the educative process. Interest and motivation are furthermore important factors that will determine if the child's potential aptitude will be fully realised.
• From the results of the investigation it follows that sex, socio-economic level and musical preferences are variables significantly affecting test scores. Girls do better in the tests than boys and the socio-economic status and general preferences and taste are clearly reflected in the pupil's test scores. In addition, general intellectual ability and musical background are important for the full development of a child's musical aptitude. Home language and demographic differences between pupils represent factors probably playing a less significant role.
• The factors identified by factor analysis can be described as follows:
Factor I: a general factor which includes mainly tonal memory and sensory discrimination;
Factor II: judicial-musical perceptions as regards tonal-rhythmical elements;
Factor III: an aesthetical-discriminative factor which includes general tonal sensitivity;
Factor IV: a tonal relationship factor where/with recognition of complex musical relations are enclosed.
• On the grounds of extensive statistical analysis executed to determine the general significance and successful functioning of the Bentley, Colwell and Gaston tests the conclusion can be drawn that these tests, with certain reservations, satisfy the essential criteria of reliability, validity and general usefulness. The author's test reveals considerable shortcomings, although it serves a useful purpose in the judgement of taste, preference and interest. From a comparison of the mean test scores of the experimental group and the control group it can be concluded that the tests clearly discriminate between average pupils and those possessing exceptional musical aptitude.
It is recommended that further research be undertaken with the tests in the research programme, especially with regards to the reliability, validity and general discriminative value of the tests. A longitudinal investigation may further elucidate and confirm the diagnostic significance of the tests, or show up the limitations more clearly. The compilation and standardisation of a South African test of musical aptitude must be considered, taking into account on the one hand the adaptability of existing tests developed overseas, and on the other, the merits and deficiencies of the Wegelin &Wolmarans tests made available by the HSRC.||en_US