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The Perception of the Musical Beat among Japanese Young Children: Aspects of the Degree of Synchrony

EasyChair Preprint no. 808

2 pagesDate: March 5, 2019


This study examined the development of the perception of the musical beat by analyzing hand clapping to musical pieces for Japanese young children whose age ranged from 4 to 6 years.

A pianist played Twelve Variations on “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” by Mozart to each age group. The children were required to beat time with their hands in rhythm with each of the variations. They wore gloves with electrode that could sense each occurrence of the hand claps, and the time stamp of each clap was recorded by a computer. 

The data were analyzed for each variations. At first, the number of children who clapped was counted for each beat of the theme for each age group, and it was normalized by the total number of children of each group. A one-dimensional ANOVA and the Tukey-Kramer's HSD test revealed that there were significant differences between 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds, 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds. It was suggested that synchrony with a musical beat increased as age.

The standard deviations of the clap timing relative to each target beat were calculated to compare the degree of concentration of the claps. An ANOVA revealed only a significant difference between 5-year-olds and 6-year-olds. This suggests that the degree of synchrony started increasing at the age of 6 years.

The 5-year-old children provided the inter-clap interval much shorter than the beat interval for the variationⅠ, Ⅱ, Ⅵwhich could be characterized by having many note values shorter than the metrical beat. The clapping rate of 5-year-olds was the highest, and exceeded 1 in average. Contrastively, the average was lower than 1 for the 4-year-old group, and it was the closest to 1 for the 6-year-old group. 

The degree of synchrony for musical beats by the young children increased reflecting the development of the cognition for the rhythmic structure of music. This development proceeds rapidly around the age of 5-6 years. 

Keyphrases: Degree of synchrony, development, musical meter, Musical rhythm, young children

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Nobuko Mizuno and Minoru Tsuzaki},
  title = {The Perception of the Musical Beat among Japanese Young Children: Aspects of the Degree of Synchrony},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 808},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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