Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

King, James H., 1923-2011||Whybrew, William E., 1920-2007

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Education


Musical ability--Testing


Problemt The purpose of this study was to analyze the Test of Musicality by E. Thayer Gaston to determine its effectiveness as a measure of musical aptitude at the .junior high school level (grades seven and eight). The analysis concerned itself with the test's validity, reliability, and discriminating power. Procedure: The psychological backgrounds of music aptitude testing were reviewed to determine the psychological assumptions upon which various tests of musical aptitude have been constructed. The "content validity" of the test was determined by comparison of the test's format to the psychological backgrounds. The test was then administered to 173 junior high school students (grades seven and eight) comprising the total population in those grades for one school district. Statistical analysis of the completed tests gave indication of the test's empirical validity through correlation of teacher ratings with the attained scores. The validity was further examined through comparison of the scores attained by two study group; one composed of students of known success in the study of instrumental music and one composed of unselected students. Discriminating power was determined by comparison of the two study groups and by internal-consistency methods of item-analysis. A measure of the test's reliability was determined by test-retest methods. Findings and Conclusions: (1) The test was found to be a valid measure of musical aptitude measuring both innate capacity and learned response in music. (2) The test was found to have an empirical, validity coefficient of .85 as determined by teacher ratings for the total group. (3) The comparison of the two study groups found the group of known success to achieve significantly higher scores than did the unselected group. (4) Retest reliability was found to be .93 for the interest inventory and .78 for the musical ability portion of the test. (5) The test was found to be too easy for reliable measurement within the group of known success. (6) The sub-test devoted to musical notation was found to be the most discriminating measure, both between the study groups and the upper and lower students on the score distribution. (7) The sub-test devoted to finding a given note in a chord was found to be too easy for effective discrimination at all levels.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 78 pages




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