Da capo: A musical technique to evoke narrative recall
This article proposes the use of recorded music chosen by researchers to elicit participant accountsof life experiences, a technique we name ‘da capo recall.’ Fifteen mainland hinese students whohad studied in the UK were played seven contrasting extracts of classical music. They were asked how each extract reminded them of anything salient on their undergraduate degrees. We relate major points of narrative research to music and discuss: the method and procedure, the participants’ responses and how the technique can be used. In this education context, participants gave rich accounts about studying, exams, graduating and other life experiences with affective dimensions. For many, the music returned them to ‘the experienced present’ of their studies, analogous to a da capo replaying of a section in music. Musical key and tempo influenced the nature of the memories evoked. We envisage the da capo technique’s use within interviews to explore memories, experiences and emotions amongst learners, professionals and in other fields. We show the potential of the da capo technique to evoke a range of narratives that have added value given to them specifically through the use of music.
Citation : Pilcher, N., Cortazzi, M. and Jin, L. (2013) Da capo: A musical technique to evoke narrative recall. Psychology of Music, 42 (4), pp. 483-502
Research Group : Human Communication Studies