Thaddeus L. Bolton, SAGE Publications.D. in 1895, appears to have written the first doctoral thesis on a topic closely related to music education. The thesis, titled “Rhythm,” predated by a few weeks a music education dissertation written by John]. Dawson, a graduate student of education at New York University. Bolton's dissertation describes an experimental study of the reactions of thirty subjects to sounds occurring at different speeds and intensities and with different durations and patterns of accentuation. Bolton's work on rhythm, which appears to have been among the earliest on music by an experimental psychologist, influenced Iowa music supervisor Philip C. Hayden, who applied some of Bolton's findings to his teaching. Hayden's desire to share his applications with others led, in large part, to the first meeting (1907) of what became the Music Supervisors National Conference.
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