Seddon, F. A. and O'Neill, S. A. (2003) Creative thinking processes in adolescent computer-based composition: an analysis of strategies adopted and the influence of instrumental music training. Music Education Research.5(2), pp. 125-137. 1461-3808.
This study aims to investigate potential differences in composition strategies adopted by adolescents, with and without prior experience of formal instrumental music tuition (FIMT), when engaging with computer-based composition. Composition process data was analysed using an established method of qualitative analysis of text adapted for use in a musical context. Participants were 48 adolescents (aged 13–14 years) who had between 2 and 4 years of FIMT (n�25) or no prior experience of FIMT (n�23). Both groups were invited to compose a ‘piece’ that ‘sounded good to them’ using a specially modified computer-based composition program. Results indicated that participants adopted different composition strategies. Links were found between the composition strategies adopted and the participant’s prior experience of FIMT. The main difference between the groups was the relative length of time spent in ‘exploratory’ behaviour. Implications for music education are discussed.