The Effects of Familiarity and Audiovisual Stimuli on Preference for Classical Music

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006

Publication Title

Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education


This study examined the impact of visual material on students' attitudes toward traditional music genres. Eight classes of 7th-grade students listened to 12 classical music excerpts, either with or without audiovisual stimuli. Students rated both their familiarity with and preference for each excerpt. A significant relationship between familiarity and preference was found. Presenting a video clip along with the music resulted in higher ratings of both familiarity and preference compared to audio-only, although the difference in preference was not statistically significant when familiarity was controlled. Among the three types of video presentations used in the study—unrelated, related, and performing ensemble—the unrelated-video condition is the only one for which the audiovisual group preferred the music more than the audio-only group.

Original Citation

Hamlen, K. R., & Shuell, T. J. (2006). The effects of familiarity and audiovisual stimuli on preference for classical music. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 168, 21-34.