The purpose of this study was to determine whether non-major instrumental student musicians at the university level perceive tension in music differently than student musicians majoring in music. Students (N=40) comprised four groups. Group A and Group B consisted of undergraduate students (N=20) who were non-music majors and members of an auditioned university concert band. Group C and D consisted of undergraduate students (N=20) who were music majors. While listening to the selected composition, students registered their individual perception of tension by means of the Digital Affective Response Technology (DART) software. During playback of the selected stimuli, subjects utilize a Likert scale of discrete data points within DART to quantify perceived affective responsiveness from 1 (lowest level) to 10 (highest level). Individual means were then collected from each group (A, B, C, D) and graphed cross-categorically according to level of performance history (majors/nonmajors who have performed (A & C) and majors/non-majors who have not performed (B & D)). An unpaired t-test of combined Groups A and C (t  = -1.073, p = .2975) and an unpaired t-test of combined Groups B and D (t  = 1.639, p = .1186) indicated no significant difference of perceived tension between the subjects of these groups.
Brozak, George A.
"The Perception of Musical Tension in Percy Grainger’s
Irish Tune from County Derry Among Music Majors and Non-Music Majors,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 2, Article 7.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol2/iss1/7