Extending zygonic theory to analyse patterns of musical influence between children creating pieces of music in groups, in England and Japan

Kagari Shibazaki, Adam Ockelford, Nigel Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reports on initial exploratory trials of a methodological extension of zygonic theory, through which this psychomusicologically-based approach was used to analyse patterns of musical influence within pieces created by groups of primary school children aged 9–11 years in England and Japan. Previously, the theory had been used in educational and therapeutic contexts to gauge the musical impact of each participant on the other in one-to-one musical interactions. The preliminary findings reported here suggest that zygonically-derived analytical techniques may potentially be of value not only in defining children’s musical contributions and patterns of influence as they seek to create pieces in groups, but also in comparative studies that examine the potentially dissimilar improvisatory approaches adopted by different cohorts of pupils. It is further argued that zygonic measures of musical influence may be of value as inverse proxy measures of creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-471
Number of pages43
JournalMusicae Scientiae
Issue number4
Early online date13 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2013

Cite this