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How to Use the PRPD Classical Music Testing Materials
- These materials represent a beginning, not an end result. The objective is to become acquainted with listeners’ preferences and dislikes
by familiarizing oneself with the sounds that were tested and the
listeners’ responses to those sounds. Becoming familiar with these is
the first step in evaluating the range of sounds in any selection being
considered for airplay.
- We recommend that audio and video material should be listened to and viewed repeatedly and discussed extensively
before making any changes. Most of the partner stations involved in
the application phase of the project have planned extended retreats
with the key staff to allow themselves the time to become thoroughly
familiar with the materials.
- Remember that the results are responses to specific sounds in the excerpts heard by listeners. Sound samples and categories listed here are identified as a point of reference. These materials should not be interpreted as a playlist. There is very little information here about individual
selections. Each station will need to decide which pieces embody most
of the positive characteristics, and in what rotation you will program
- The Audio Files for High Appeal, Moderate Appeal, Low Appeal and Negative Appeal are best used as “ear training”, to help you get a feel
for the sounds that appeal to listeners and cause them to tune-out.
The music in each group is arranged in descending order, from the most
appealing to the least. We suggest listening to them carefully and
repeatedly to determine the qualities of sound that contribute to the
response listeners had to the samples.
- The Videographs,
in particular, require careful, repeated viewings because they track
responses on a number of different levels. It is important to consider
not only the running average represented by the horizontally moving
blue and red lines, but also the “histograms,” or vertical bars, at the
bottom of the screen. These record the percentage of listeners
responding to a sample at each of the levels of the 1 to 9 scale. They
provide perspective on whether the response to a given sample is
consistent (that is, mostly positive or negative) or distributed among
several points on the scale (for example, some positive scores and some
negative scores averaging out to low appeal).
Applying the Results
staff that this process allows us to listen to classical music the way
that most listeners do… not based on musicological descriptions, but on
the sound and emotional impact of the music.
may need to reconsider how long a ‘vacation’ is used for individual
selections. For example, if pieces are restricted to play just once
per month, it could leave the third and fourth week of each month
relatively devoid of the most appealing music!