Ecological development and validation of a music performance rating scale for five instrument families
This study investigated ways to improve the quality of music performance evaluation in an effort to address the accountability imperative in tertiary music education. An enhanced scientific methodology was employed incorporating ecological validity and using recognized qualitative methods involving grounded theory and quantitative methods involving confirmatory factor analyses. By distilling the disciplinary consensus, this approach enabled the specific definition of the constructs and standards used in university student classical music performance examinations, and provided their refinement with the empirical development of standards-based, criterion-specific rating scales for five instrument families. The study found that the examiners in each instrument family used between 15 to 17 constructs and associated descriptors, and at least two general dimensions referring to technical proficiency and another relating to musicality and interpretation. Analyses showed acceptable internal consistency and construct validity for the scales. Findings suggested that, although several construct and general dimension commonalities were found among the items across all scales, the presence of significant instrument-specific differences suggested that the use of generic rating scales may not provide sufficient content validity. Implications for the application of standards in music performance assessment were discussed.
Psychology of Music