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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Conservatory of Music

First Advisor

David E. Wolfe

First Committee Member

Audree S. O'Connell

Second Committee Member

Michael A. Allard


Based on previous studies, it seems few music therapists have assessed the needs of multicultural clients regarding relaxation. There are many research studies available that discuss specific qualities of (i.e. dynamics, tempo, and melodic content), and preferences for relaxing music. Additionally, there are studies that examine the use of music for relaxation with specific populations. However, none exist regarding the cultural aspects of music and relaxation. This study attempted to remedy this oversight by polling international students who attended a small private university in central California. It was thought there would be a significant difference between students of different cultural backgrounds and the types of music they used for relaxation. It was also assumed there would be a statistically significant difference between the average scores of questions designed to elicit opposite responses regarding specific qualities of relaxing music. Questionnaires were mailed through the International Students Office to all international students attending the university. Of those 21 0 mailed questionnaires, 7 4 were returned, resulting in 74 usable responses. Using the Kruskal-Wallis one way analysis of variance, there was statistical significance (Q < .05) regarding the specific instruments which people like to hear when relaxing, in addition to the amount of rhythm and percussion heard when listening to relaxing music. Statistical significance was also found (using !-tests) between the overall responses on questions designed to elicit opposite responses regarding specific qualities of music (Q < .05). The characteristics of preferred relaxing music by international students were found to be slow over fast, quiet over loud, low-pitched over high-pitched, and familiar over unfamiliar music.



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