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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Music Therapy

First Advisor

David E. Wolfe

First Committee Member

Therese West

Second Committee Member

Ruth V. Brittin


Parkinson's disease, a disorder involving the excitatory-inhibitory functions of the basal ganglia, develops to a stage where the muscles used for respiration, phonation and articulation in speech appear affected by a decreased range of motion. Parkinson speech is characterized by reduced intensity, monoloudness, weak overall effort and reduced intraoral pressures. Reports also indicate that reduced vocal intensity is a deterrent to oral communication in patients with Parkinson's disease. The study sought to examine the effects of singing "stimulative" and "sedative" songs to ascertain if different types of music affect articulatory precision in persons with Parkinson's disease. Articulatory precision was divided into six categories: rate, rhythm, initial consonants, final consonants, continuity, and intelligibility. Eighteen individuals with Parkinson's disease whose ages ranged from 52 to 84 years, who demonstrated limited range of movement of oral and facial muscles and possessed normal hearing, participated in this study. Participants were asked to sing two short, familiar songs a cappella. One song was of a sedative nature (slow and soft). The other was of a stimulative nature (fast and loud). One paragraph of The Rainbow Passage was read before and after the sedative song for each participant and again before and after the stimulative song. The data in one category was significant and most of the speech samples were affected by the music conditions. Statistically significant scores were found when comparing the post-test scores for initial consonants after the slow and fast songs. Finding a significant difference in scores under these parameters shows the effects music has on speech and the possibilities for future studies. The two categories of articulatory precision that remained the same from pre-test to post-test, intelligibility and final consonants, did so after different treatments and mean post-test scores for rate was not affected by the treatments.



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