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Generative Processes in MusicThe Psychology of Performance, Improvisation, and Composition$
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John Sloboda

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198508465

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198508465.001.0001

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Young children’s musical representations: windows on music cognition

Young children’s musical representations: windows on music cognition

Chapter:
(p.195) 9 Young children’s musical representations: windows on music cognition
Source:
Generative Processes in Music
Author(s):

Lyle Davidson

Lawrence Scripp

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198508465.003.0009

This chapter presents intriguing data from children aged five to seven who were asked to notate various musical fragments without explicit instruction. What is particularly impressive about these data is the coherence of the schemes devised by children. Even at age five, many children devise abstract symbols to represent particularly the rhythmic structure of the music. By age seven, pitch becomes an increasing focus for notational attention. Interestingly, at age five, performance skill and notational skill seem largely uncorrelated; but by age seven, the two seem to have become ‘yoked’ together into a unified domain of musical intelligence.

Keywords:   music cognition, children, musical representations, musical fragments, pitch, musical child

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