In this article, we identified those studies that were cited most often in research articles published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music, the Journal of Music Therapy, Contributions to Music Education, and the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education between 1975 and 1990. Sampling was limited to citations within descriptive or experimental studies (N = 922) that were data-based. A content analysis of the 26 most cited studies was conducted, and the articles were classified according to populations studied and central variables used. Results indicated that primary dependent variable categories included music preference, student on-task/off-task behavior, perception and/or performance of tempo, vocal performance, pitch accuracy/intonation, melodic or rhythmic perception, teacher approval-disapproval behavior, student attitudes, and evaluation of teaching/instruction. The most frequent independent variables used across the 26 studies included musical stimulus characteristics (e.g., tempo, style), teacher behaviors (e.g., approval-disapproval, eye contact), instructional methods, and subject characteristics (e.g., grade level, training/experience).
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