This study is an investigation of what musicians consider to be their aesthetic experience with jazz music selections that vary in level of conceptual advancement (melodic complexity during improvised solos). Music major participants (N = 128) were assigned to either the jazz musician (n = 64) or nonjazz musician (n = 64) group. Data were gathered as participants manipulated the dial of a Continuous Response Digital Interface (CRDI) to indicate the magnitude of their aesthetic responses as they listened to four audio selections. Written responses were collected following each session via a questionnaire. Statistical analysis of group responses indicated a significant difference between the two participant groups only for the most conceptually advanced selection. An analysis of group graphs indicated that jazz musician participants rated this same selection higher. These findings suggest that greater instrumental jazz ensemble experience is related to greater aesthetic interest when listening to a jazz selection containing a high level of conceptual complexity.
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