Yearbook Archive: Vol 24 (2014)

Vol 24 (2014): Musikpsychologie – Offenohrigkeit. Ein Postulat im Fokus / Music psychology – "Open-Earedness". A postulate in Focus [*]

Volume 24 was edited by Wolfgang Auhagen, Claudia Bullerjahn, and Richard von Georgi. Editorial Assistans were Mirjam James, Kai Lothwesen, Friedrich Platz, and Kathrin Schlemmer.


The printed volume was published by Hogrefe in 2014. The rights of use were reacquired by DGM and the contributions were republished here in 2020 as an OpenAccess publication for free, unrestricted use under the CC-BY 4.0 licence.

All contributions are available as searchable PDF files, have a DOI and are searchable in the PubPsych/PSYNDEX database. Contribution titles and abstracts are consistently given in German and English.

Titles and abstracts marked with [*] have been automatically translated from the original language with

Preface by the editors
The contributions in this section are available as a Collective PDF

Wolfgang Auhagen, Claudia Bullerjahn, Richard von Georgi

Research Reports on Thematic Focus

Einleitung Introduction

Heiner Gembris

Theoretical Approaches

Das Normative der Offenohrigkeit. Ein semantischer Zwischenfall The normative of open-earedness, a semantic incident [*]

Winfried Sakai
The article suggests and investigates the thesis that Hargreaves' "open-earedness" implicates a normative semantic and distracts from other relevant questions. Thereto, it presents a synopsis of the development of the according research in the English and German literature. For a better understanding, the term "openness" will be looked up in the research of personality traits thereby seeking for descriptive concepts as connectivity options for the research of music preferences. After that, Spencer Brown's Laws of Form and the Social Identity Theory shall shed light on the probably intra-stylistic musical competencies of children and youth. Moreover, the both approaches might help to understand why the term "open-earedness" is resilient in the German discourse.

Offenohrigkeit - Von der Notwendigkeit eines Paradigmenwechsels bei der Erforschung von musikalischer Toleranz und Neugier Open-earedness - On the need for a paradigm shift in the exploration of musicalTolerance and curiosity [*]

Christoph Louven
The term "open-earedness" has been occupying researchers in music psychology for the past few years. It is not least the charm of the term that seems to cause this: it connects the positive, congenial association of "falling on sympathetic ears" with a seemingly immediate, intuitive comprehensibility of the metaphor, thus creating a concept of high attractiveness and symbolic significance. The danger of such a term in scientific contexts, however, lies in an apparent implicitness that is created by the force of the metaphor; this distracts from the lack of an exact definition and, in doing so, eventually admits a term of iridescent indetermination into the scientific discourse. The paper at hand shows that this indetermination of the term "open-earedness" eventually leads to conceptual and methodological inconsistencies that in turn question the validity of results that have so far been achieved. Hence, this article advocates a change of paradigm attempts to develop a consistent definition and a methodological operationalization and introduces basic empirical findings of this new approach.

Offenohrigkeit als eine valenz-und stimulusunabhängige Persönlichkeitseigenschaft Open-earedness as a valence-and stimulus-independent personality trait [*]

Richard von Georgi, Klaus Frieler
The present theoretical and experimental study treats open-earedness as a situation-independent behavioral disposition. In the first part, critical moments of the corresponding research are discussed to guarantee an unambiguously defined access of the measurement of open-earedness. In the second part, a coefficient for the measurement of open-earedness is derived from theoretical arguments. This new coefficient as well as information entropy is examined in two empirical studies. The obtained results are not unambiguously interpretable, but they point to the fact that open-earedness seems to be measurable by our coefficients and correlates with 'openness to experience' and 'agreeableness' of the NEO-FFI. Furthermore, no direct connection with the emotional and aesthetical assessments of the music examples could be found. Discussing the results leads to further questions and theoretical assumptions which show that open-earedness as a trait must be treated more carefully and differentiated than often done in the past.

Offenohrigkeit als soziales Phänomen. Kulturelles Kapital und der Sinn für Distinktion Open-eardness as a social phenomenon. Cultural Capital and the Sense of Distinction [*]

Theresa Bernhard
The concept of "open-earedness" describes childrens' receptiveness for different pieces of music and to different genres. This phenomenon decreases as one gets older and gives way to the differentiation according to preferences and aversions. The changing of musical behaviour is located in the transition period between childhood and adolescence. There is also a connection between musical education and the musical practice. If children participate in instrumental lessons, the focus on particular musical genres reduces and therefore the musical receptiveness lasts. On the basis of this results and the music-sociological discourse, the paper will investigate this phenomenon from a sociological and theory-related perspective. The following questions will be addressed: what is the impact of musical socialization in case of loss of "open-earedness" and which role does cultural capital play in this context?

Empirical Approaches

Replikationsstudien bestätigen das Phänomen der Offenohrigkeit im frühen Grundschulalter Replication studies confirm the phenomenon of open-earedness in early primary school age [*]

Heiner Gembris, Andreas Heye, Lisa Jeske
The term "open-earedness" was first introduced by Hargreaves (1982) and designates a kind of openness to "unconventional" music which disappears in the course of the elementary school years. In order to examine the open-earedness, Gembris and Schellberg (2003; 2007) carried out a study with 591 children (5-13 years) who indicated their preferences for eight very different musical genres. The results showed that there is a typical openness to different musical styles in the first two years of schooling, disappearing in the 3rd or 4th grade, confirrning the idea of open-earedness. Furthermore, typical gender related differences appeared: the female listeners preferred the classical and pop music examples, while the male showed a greater acceptance of the avantgarde and ethno-music. Some authors investigated this phenomenon in replication-studies (Lehmann & Kopiez, 2011) and in studies employing other approaches (Louven & Ritter, 2012; Christman, 2013). Their results confirmed the above-mentioned results, but also revealed some differences. The aim of this paper is twofold: First, we report an unpublished one-to-one replication of the Gembris and Schellberg study, carried out by Lontke (2006) employing a sample of elementary school children including a high proportion (about 80 %) of children with a migrant background (N= 273) in order to explore possible effects of socio-cultural factors. The procedure, test materials (music examples, questionnaires) and the evaluation method were identical with that of Gembris and Schellberg (2003). The results were very similar those of Gembris and Schellberg. In a second step, we combined the data from the initial study of Gembris and Schellberg with the data of Lontke (2006) and re-analyzed them (N= 837). Overall, the results confirm the previous findings and show that the open-earedness in the first years of elementary school and its disappearance in the 4th grade is very robust phenomenon which can be replicated with some variations in heterogeneous composite primary school classes. In the discussion we reconsider the position of the open-earedness in the overall context of the exploration of musical preferences in childhood and suggest some perspectives for future research.

,,Mir gefällt ja mehr diese Rockmusik". Zur Struktur musikalischer Präferenzurteile im Grundschulalter "I like this rock music better." On the structure of musical preference judgements in primary school age [*]

Veronika Busch, Michael Schurig, Nicola Bunte, Bettina Prahm-Beutler
Hargreaves' (1982a) brief hypothesis of an age-related decline in children's preference for unconventional pieces of music (,,open-earedness") forms the theoretical background of our exploratory longitudinal study with four points of measurement between grade one and four. Primary school children answered a sound questionnaire with 16 music examples on a 5-point iconic rating scale. Structural and personal data was collected using standardized questionnaires, and complementary guided interviews were conducted. Open-earedness is operationalized as a construct with „classic", ,,pop", and „ethnic/avant-garde" music preference (cf. Louven, 2011) as distinguishable latent factors through factor analyses. This way measurement models for the investigation of longitudinal data will be assessed using structural equation modelling. The aim is to derive a measurement model that can be used to identify and test predictor variables (e.g. age, sex, music tuition, personality, music experience, migration background, and socio-economic status). The analyses indicate that already year one pupils possess a music specific categorial system for their preference ratings. Investigations into the development of music preference have to differentiate not only according to age, but also according to sex and music specific categories. During the first three years of primary school an increase of less positive preference ratings for all of the three music specific categories is observed. For the fourth year this factorial structure dissolves, which points towards an increase of individualisation of music preference. Apart from the observed effects of age, music category, and sex none of the other independent variables shows relevant predictive power for music preference. Qualitative data supports the assumption that music preference ratings are used especially by boys as a means to indicate their psycho-social (gender)-identity.

Der Körper als Mediator: Möglichkeiten einer unvermittelten Beschreibungvon Musik(-präferenzen) im Grundschulalter The body as a mediator: possibilities of an unmediated descriptionof music (preferences) at primary school age [*]

Caroline Cohrdes, Friedrich Platz, Reinhard Kopiez
In diverse phases of life, musical experiences are related to different functions regarding the listener's predominant needs. In childhood, processes connecting mental and corporeal actions as a way of internalizing behavior are of particular importance for the cognitive development. Thus, this article intends to describe music experiences in childhood via bodily gestures stimulated by music. It is hypothesized that children of primary school age prefer music that features a high motion potential and not music that belongs to a particular genre. A new experimental design to investigate non-verbal music preferences is presented. According to the research of Embodied Music Cognition (Leman, 2008), musicinduced body motions of N = 81 primary school children were measured with a modified sentograph (Clynes, 1977). As a result, it was shown that music experiences can be categorized via the stimulation of body gestures. The correlation between children's liking of the music and movement clarity (as measured by the parameter "movement roughness") was r = .53 and between liking of the music and movement regularity (as measured by the parameter "periodicity") was r = -.66. We argue that the potential of a music piece for movement stimulation can be used as a predictor of music preference- independent of the music piece's classification in a genre. In contrast, differences in preference behavior between grades 1 and 4 - as predicted by the open-earedness hypothesis (Hargreaves, 1982) could not be confirmed.

Offenheit für Erfahrungen als Indikator für Offenohrigkeit im jungen Erwachsenenalter? Individuelle Unterschiede und Stabilität der Musikpräferenz Openness for experiences as an indicator of open ears in young adulthood? Individual differences and stability of musical preference [*]

Alexandra Linnemann, Myriam V. Thoma, Urs M. Nater
The disappearence of "open-earedness" in primary school students correlates with a narrowing of music preferences towards conventional music styles. lt remains unknown whether this limitation of music preference remains throughout the lifespan. We investigated the influence of the personality trait "openness to experience" on music preferences and its stability during early adulthood. A longitudinal online-study examining university students was conducted (baseline: N = 1182; 647 f, 535 m; follow-up: N= 162, 100 f, 62 m). Conventional music styles (here: "pop" and "classical music") obtained the highest preference ratings. Higher scores on the personality trait "openness to experience" were associated with lower preference ratings for pop and a broader music listening behavior. Music preferences and music listening behavior remained stable over six months. The personality trait "openness to experience" was not associated with potential changes in the stability of music preference and music listening behavior. There are parallels between the concepts of "open-earedness" and "openness to experience" due to the reduced linking of conventional music styles. These findings raise the question whether there are individual differences in the disappearance of "open-earedness" and if these are associated with the personality trait "openness to experience" in later life.

In Memoriam
The contributions in this section are available as a Collective PDF

"Was wäre, wenn...?" Ein Nachruf auf Klaus-Ernst Behne (1940-2013)

Claudia Bullerjahn


OpenEar: Ein flexibles Softwarewerkzeug für klingende Fragebögen mit Präferenz- und Hörzeitenmessung OpenEar: A flexible software tool for sounding questionnaires with preference and listening time measurement [*]

Christoph Louven

Die Colored Music Grid (CMG) App. Ein neues Eingabeinterface zur Erfassung instrumentenunabhängiger instrumentaler Leistungsfähigkeit The Colored Music Grid (CMG) App. A new input interface for recording instrument independent instrumental performance [*]

Johannes Hasselhorn, Sascha Grollmisch

The contributions in this section are available as a Collective PDF

Klaus-Ernst Behne: Musikerleben im Jugendalter. Eine Längsschnittstudie

Christoph Louven

Irene Deliege & Jane W.Davidson (Eds.): Music and the Mind. Essays in honour of John Sloboda

Clemens Wöllner

Bernd Enders, Jürgen Oberschmidt & Gerhard Schmitt (Hrsg.): Die Metapher als „Medium" des Musikverstehens

Wolfgang Auhagen

David Hargreaves, Dorothy Miell & Raymond MacDonald (Eds.): Musical Imaginations. Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Creativity, Performance and Perception

Kai Lothwesen

Oscar Odena (Ed.): Musical Creativity. Insights from Music Education Research

Kai Lothwesen

Michael Parzer: Der gute Musikgeschmack. Zur sozialen Praxis ästhetischer Bewertung in der Popularkultur

Bianca Berndt

Patrick L. Schmidt: Interne Repräsentation musikalischer Strukturen. Zur Bedeutung motorischer Prozesse im Stimmapparat bei musikalischen Klangvorstellungen

Klaus Frieler

Richard von Georgi: Anwendung von Musik im Alltag. Theorie und Validierungsstudien zum IAAM

Marco Lehmann

Robert H. Woody: Social Psychology of Musicianship

Tobias Marx

The contributions in this section are available as a Collective PDF

Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Musikpsychologie (DGM) zum Thema „Musik - Psychologie - Pädagogik", 28.-30.September 2012, Universität Bremen

Erne Naumann

Wissenschaftliche Tagung zum Thema „Gesund Musizieren", 22.-23.März 2013, Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien

Judith Erler

International Symposium on the Assessment of Music Education (4th ISAME), 10.-13.April 2013, National Taiwan Normal University (Taiwan)

Anna Wolf

International Conference on Music and Emotion (ICME 3), 11.-15. Juni 2013, University of Jyväskylä (Finnland)

Alexandra Linnemann

Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Musikpsychologie (DGM) zum Thema „Musik und Familie", 6.-8.September 2013, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main

Mariana Roos