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Musical ExcellenceStrategies and Techniques to Enhance Performance$
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Aaron Williamon

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525356

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525356.001.0001

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Physiological self-regulation: biofeedback and neurofeedback

Physiological self-regulation: biofeedback and neurofeedback

(p.197) Chapter 11 Physiological self-regulation: biofeedback and neurofeedback
Musical Excellence


Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews techniques that have been designed to empower individuals to control physiological processes through mental activity. The general rationale behind biofeedback is that physiological responses (such as heart rate, blood pressure, and in the case of neurofeedback, the electrical activity of the brain) can be recorded and fed back to an individual so that he or she can eventually gain voluntary control over those responses. Such physiological self-regulation holds great potential for enhancing musical performance. Notably, biofeedback of electric muscle activity has been used successfully to reduce muscular tension in certain types of instrumentalists. Also, neurofeedback training of ‘slow wave’ activity has been shown to facilitate remarkable improvements in musicians' performance skills.

Keywords:   musical performance, musicians, mental activity, physiological response, biofeedback training

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