Experimental Studies of Music Reading: A Review
The psychological study of music reading is atypical of music perception studies in two ways. First, this chapter identifies a clearly defined behavioral goal in most non-laboratory music reading situations. This is not the case for many music listening behaviours. Second, the object of perception is visual, not auditory. The first of these features provides the investigator with some advantages; the second poses some problems. Both merit further comment. The most common goal of music reading is the production of a coherent musical performance. The reader converts the visual input into a set of prescriptions for performance — he finds out which notes to play, in which sequence and combination they are to occur, and much else. In this central case the goal is a performance that must satisfy certain conditions, and behavioural measures capable of shedding some light on the underlying cognitive processes can be derived from quantifiable aspects of the performance.
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