Measuring engagement with music: development of an informant-report questionnaire

Ashley D Vanstone, Michael Wolf, Tina Poon, Lola L Cuddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (SciVal)


OBJECTIVES: This study describes the development of the Music Engagement Questionnaire (MusEQ), a 35-item scale to measure engagement with music in daily life. Music has implications for well-being and for therapy, notably for individuals living with dementia. A number of excellent scales or questionnaires are now available to measure music engagement. Unlike these scales, the MusEQ may be completed by either the participant or an informant.

METHOD: Study 1 drew on a community-based sample of 391 participants. Exploratory factor analysis revealed six interpretable factors, which formed the basis for construction of six subscales. Study 2 applied the MusEQ to a group of participants with Alzheimer's disease (AD; n = 16) as well as a group of neurotypical older adults (OA; n = 16). Informants completed the MusEQ, and the OA group also completed the self-report version of the MusEQ. Both groups had an interview in which they described the place music had in their lives. These interviews were scored by three independent raters.

RESULTS: The MusEQ showed excellent internal consistency. Five of the factor-derived subscales showed good or excellent internal consistency. MusEQ scores were moderately correlated with a global rating of 'musicality' and with music education. There was strong agreement between self-report and informant-report data. MusEQ scores showed a significant positive relationship to independent ratings of music engagement.

CONCLUSION: The MusEQ provides a meaningful and reliable option for measuring music engagement among participants who are unable to complete a self-report questionnaire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-484
Number of pages11
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number5
Early online date26 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognitive Dysfunction/psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Music
  • Music Therapy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires/standards


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