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Rhythm Effects in National Anthems Running head: RHYTHM IN RECOGNITION OF NATIONAL ANTHEMS

Following the dots: How they aid us in recognizing national anthems. Dwight Jin-Zhou TAN Author Affiliation

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems Abstract Your abstract should be one paragraph and should not exceed 120 words. It is a summary of the most important elements of your paper. All numbers in the abstract, except those beginning a sentence, should be typed as digits rather than words. To count the number of words in this paragraph, select the paragraph, and on the Tools menu click Word Count.

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems Following the dots: How they aid us in recognizing national anthems. Music is an integral of the lives of many; it is not uncommon to see people commuting around Singapore to be listening to music from the plethora of gadgets available in the market. 2012 was the year of many things; American presidential elections, territorial disputes, but more importantly (to me) the year of the London Olympics. The two phenomenons mentioned above are different; one an art form, while another is a sporting event. However, the integration of these two phenomenons gave inspiration to the roots of this research. National anthems are truly fascinating; despite no international law governing the requirement to have a national anthem, every country has one. Some sociologists, like Cerulo (1993), have argued that national anthems have been utilized by national leaders have been "using them to create bonds, motivate patriotic action, honour the efforts of citizens, and

legitimate [sic] formal authority" (p. 244). Gilboa and Bodner (2009) also suggest the generation of national pride and nationalism as other roles of national anthems. Gilboa and Bodner even highlight the importance of meaningful lyrics, whereby meaningful lyrics are associated with more power on the populace, and classical conditioning, in shaping the nationalistic associations bound to anthems. Apart from socialization and classical conditioning, I also believe that since national anthems are primarily a piece of music, there are musical elements which are able to help people recognize a melody as an anthem. Currently, there is no psychological research devoted to understanding how humans are able to recognize national anthem. As such this appears to be a journey worthwhile to venture.

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems Malcolm Boyd (2001) in the New Grove Dictionary identified two types of anthems, namely anthems-as-hymns and anthems-as-march. According to Boyd, identifies "God Save the King/Queen" of Great Britain as the archetypal song of anthem-as-hymns, which are characterized by their "stately rhythmic thread and ... smooth melodic movement". The archetypal anthem of anthem-as-march is "La Marseillaise" of the French Republic which are typically rousing, martial pieces, with a characteristic alternative dotted-eighth and sixteen (dotted-quaver and semiquaver) combination and double instance of ascending fourths. However, this scope seems too wide, and there appears to be a need to narrow this scope. Journalist Alex Marshall (2008) of The Guardian suggests that the general consensus of anthems sound like a "western style military march". This may be the attributed to the clear characteristics of anthem-as-march which have been mentioned above, which are also more objective. As such, the scope of this study will be limited only to anthem-as-marches, aiming to slowly unlock the mysteries behind national anthems. Of the two set of musical elements mentioned by Boyd in anthem-as-marches, Rhodes (2008), in his study of military music, also identified the need for dotted-eighth and sixteen

(from this point on referred to as 'long-short') combinations. Due to the convergence of Boyd and Rhodes on the presence of alternative long-short combinations, rhythmic qualities will be the scope of this paper. During marching, those marching are expected to march at a steady, consistent beat, with high levels of synchronicity. Despite what Boyd and Rhodes suggest, intuitively, one would then expect that quaver-quaver (same-same) combinations should be the best in anthems-as-march; directly contradicting Boyd and Rhodes. Thus, this paper seeks to find out if either the long-short or the same-same combinations result in a better anthem.

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems However, there was also fear that the presence of dotted notes could result in a better anthem, thus to strength any significant results if found, a third level (sixteen followed by a dotted-eighth condition, also known as 'short-long') was also included, such that it is possible to establish the preferred combination is indeed preferred over all possible two note combinations. Next, this paper also aims to explain why dotted-eighth and sixteen combinations could be

the preferred combination. Two hypotheses have been suggested. Firstly, long-short may be able to provide satisfaction due to tension resolution hypothesis. In this hypothesis, semiquavers present a momentary sense of instability, which when resolved produces a greater sense of satisfaction. The same-same condition, in its lack of a semi-quaver is unable to provide such resolution, thus a decrease in satisfaction. Secondly, long-short could bring about a sense of togetherness. The assumption in the intuition earlier supporting the preference of same-same condition is that anthems are made with the intention of the person marching. However, national anthems are often not meant to be marched too, and thus its purpose may lie with enhancing the experience of the perceiver or viewer, and not the doer. As national anthems are meant to create bonds as mentioned by Cerulo earlier, the term 'togetherness' was suggested. As the hypothesis is closely linked to the first experiment, the hypothesis is similar and this paper wishes to seek out if the long-short or same-same condition provides a greater sense of satisfaction and evokes a greater perceived sense of togetherness. The final part of the study aims to collect qualitative data to set the stage for future research in this area. As this study is exploratory and first of its kind, it is understandable that the factors suggested may not be sufficient. Thus, it is important to begin a qualitative search to understand the important factors that people consider when recognizing and categorizing national anthems.

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems Method Participants Forty undergraduate students from the National University of Singapore with varying music experience were recruited to take part in this study. Marterials The stimuli comprised of 3 single-line (monophonic) melodies composed using the software as .wav files. An equal number of four-bar melodies were composed in C major, and then transposed to the tonality (key) or C minor, G major and G minor. The melodies began on the tonic, and ended on a single long dominant note in which it was written in. The melodies were in simple quadruple time, and lasted for approximately 10 seconds. The melodies were also controlled for contour, number of notes and frequency of elements. For the second experiment, anthem excerpts from the previously composed 3 melodies were derived. These anthem-excerpts were between one to two bars in length. It ended on a single long note after the instance of the element. Also all previous instances of the elements were changes to quaver-quaver, regardless of what it was. Thus, the short-long combination served as a control in the event of higher satisfaction and togetherness ratings in the long-short condition were due to changes in the rhythm. Apparatus Computers from the lab equipped with 16-bit sound cards will be used to present audio signals to participant's headphones at approximately 70 dB SPL (Sound Pressure Level). The computer application programme, E-prime 1.2, will be used for stimuli presentation and data collection. Seven numpad keys on the keyboards 1, 2, 3, 4, "5", "6" and "7" were used for key inputs to rate on a rating scale. For the first experiment, the scale ranged

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems from "1" to "5", where "1 - very small extent" and "5 - very large extent" respectively. For the

second experiment, the scale ranged from "1" to "7", where "1 - very small extent" and "7 - very large extent" respectively. Design For the both studies, the same pairs of planned comparisons were used. The independent variable (IV) is rhythm with three levels: (1) dotted-eighth followed by a sixteen ("long-short), (2) quaver-quaver ("same-same"), and (3) a control with sixteen followed by dotted-eighth ("short-long"). Two planned comparisons were conducted between (1) long-short and same-same condition, and for a control (2) same-same and short-long condition. The dependent variable (DV) was the ratings from the three different melodies. Procedure Prior to the experiment, participants are randomly sorted to the conditions which will determine which tonality they will be listening to. The experimental procedure is outlined in Figure 1. Participants will first be shown a welcome screen. They will be prompted to press the spacebar key, which will present them with the instruction screen. After reading, participants will first go through one practice trial to familiarize themselves and get ready. First they will be presented with a focal point, (+), for 500msec, after which the "Happy Birthday" will be presented over the headphones. When the melody ends, the response screen will appear, for participants to input their response. The five practice trials will consist of questions regarding, To what extent is this tune an national anthem? (Participants will have to rate between 1 to 5 (see the 5 key inputs as mentioned in Apparatus). Once the practice trials are over, participants will be directed to another instruction screen to inform them that they are about to begin the actual study trials.

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems For the first part of study trials, each participant were instructed to listen to a melody presented over headphones. A focal point, (+), was displayed on the screen for 500msec and the melody was presented. After which, a question was presented on the response screen, To what

extent is this tune a national anthem? Congruent to the practice trials, participants were asked to rate between 1 to 5 (see the key inputs as mentioned in the Apparatus section) for each study trial. The presentation sequences of melodies were randomised across all participants. After the conclusion of the first part of the study trials, participants were redirected to another instruction page, informing them of the instructions of the second part of the study trials. For this second part of study trials, each participant was instructed to listen to a melody presented over headphones. A focal point, (+), was displayed on the screen for 500msec and the melody was presented. After which, two questions were presented on two separate response screen, (1) After listening to this anthem-excerpt, on a scale of 1 to 7, to what extent do you feel satisfied if this was chosen as an anthem? and (2) After listening to this anthem-excerpt, on a scale of 1 to 7, to what extent does it bring about a sense of togetherness among citizens of this nation?"In this section, participants were asked to rate between 1 to 7 (see the key inputs as mentioned in the Apparatus section) for each study trial. To reduce any possible mere exposure effect, participants who listened to the major key in the first part of the study trails, listened to minor key in the second part and vice versa (Figure 2) Once each participant have gone through all three trials, the participants music training experience were recorded, followed by a short debrief. The question of How many years of formal musical training, in total, have you undergone? was displayed. Participants pressed the 1 key on the keyboard if they none or less than four years of musical training, and pressed the 2 key on the keyboard if they had at least four years of musical training. Finally, an open-

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems ended question was given to the participants (Figure 3). Importantly, two questions were posed which resulted in data analysis: (1) While listening to the tunes that were presented, what factors did you consider when determining a national anthem? (Please provide a brief description), and (2) "List 10 adjectives of an ideal national anthem." The second question was

later added due to the inadequacies of the initial question, and was completed only by participant 26 through 40. These questions were posed to gain a better understanding of other possible elements that may contribute in the perception of anthems, which may provide insight and direction for future research.

Rhythm Effects in National Anthems References Anderson, Charles & Johnson (2003). The impressive psychology paper. Chicago: Lucerne Publishing. Smith, M. (2001). Writing a successful paper. The Trey Research Monthly, 53, 149-150.


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