Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2018

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. Gregory Springer

Second Reader

Professor Tonya Mitchell


At marching band contests, bands are usually judged on both their music performance (ensemble, individual, and general effect) and visual performance (ensemble, individual, and general effect). Phenomena such as the McGurk effect (McGurk & MacDonald, 1976) indicate that people often prioritize visual information over aural information; however, until now there have not been empirical investigations of how this phenomenon might affect high school marching band evaluation. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of visual performance on the music performance evaluation of high school marching bands. To study this effect, I recruited college students who were randomly assigned to two groups to evaluate a recorded marching band show. One group received the aural stimulus, and the other group received the same aural stimulus paired with the visual stimulus. Results indicated that the visual stimulus did not influence the composite and individual performance ratings. Participants who observed the audiovisual stimulus provided similar ratings to those who observed the audio stimulus. Implications for music performance evaluation and marching band pedagogy are discussed.