AuthorWilliams, Matthew L.
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona
focus of attention
inattentional deafness in music
inattentional processing in music
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherSAGE Publications Inc.
CitationWilliams, M. L. (2021). The Effect of Focus of Attention on Error Detection Ability. Journal of Research in Music Education, 0022429421997449.
Rights© National Association for Music Education 2021.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractThe teaching of error detection is a complicated process, made more so by our evolving understanding of the psychological processes involved with attention itself. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of listener attention on the error detection process. Guiding research questions were as follows: (1) In what ways does directing attention influence one’s ability to detect errors? and (2) Does voicing of error influence participants’ ability to detect the error? Participants (N = 64) at six universities listened to 40 recorded excerpts of three-part Haydn divertimenti, either focusing on one line or holistically, while marking errors on a printed score. Participants were better able to detect errors in lines of focus than in peripheral lines and were similarly better at detecting errors in an unfocused listening condition versus focusing on any one of the lines. Additionally, participants were most successful in detecting peripheral errors when focusing on the middle staff and were least successful in detecting errors in the bass line, even when focusing on the bass line. Suggestions for future research and implications for music education are discussed.
VersionFinal accepted manuscript