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The Improvising MindCognition and Creativity in the Musical Moment$
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Aaron Berkowitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590957.001.0001

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Music and language cognition compared I: Acquisition

Music and language cognition compared I: Acquisition

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter 5 Music and language cognition compared I: Acquisition
Source:
The Improvising Mind
Author(s):

Aaron L. Berkowitz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590957.003.0005

The study of musical improvisation and how musicians acquire this skill allows for a comparison with language acquisition from the perspectives of both perceptual and productive competence. This chapter describes musical knowledge and how it is acquired, comparing this knowledge and its acquisition with the knowledge base in language and how it is developed. Elements of the linguistic knowledge base are described (phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, pragmatics), and musical analogues of these elements are sought. Following this, learning to improvise is discussed in the context of theories of language acquisition, drawing on the data regarding improvisation pedagogy and learning discussed in the previous chapters. A constructivist, cognitive-functional, usage-based approach to learning to improvise is proposed, drawing on the theoretical framework proposed by Michael Tomasello for language acquisition.

Keywords:   musical learning, language acquisition, musical competence, constructivist linguistics, usage-based linguistics, music-language comparisons, Michael Tomasello

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