Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.M. in Music

First Advisor

Debra L. Spurgeon

Second Advisor

Andrew Paney

Third Advisor

Alan L. Spurgeon

Relational Format



While conductors and audience members are not committed to a single formation, choristers have a clear preference: sectional or mixed. Why is this? Participants in this study included forty-six members of an auditioned women's choir from a large southern university who completed a survey after singing in sectional and mixed formation. These SSAA results maintain previous research findings by James Daugherty, Debra Atkinson, and Christopher Aspaas, et al. from female choristers in SATB settings: most women prefer mixed formation. All 46 of the participants (100%) perceived that formation generally affects the choral sound, so they think formation is important. Women's voices also present unique concerns regarding voice distribution, pitch level, and perception. Perhaps if choir members think they are producing a better sound in a certain formation, they set themselves up to actually produce a better sound in performance.


Music Education



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