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Exploring the Musical MindCognition, emotion, ability, function$
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John Sloboda

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198530121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198530121.001.0001

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The Acquisition of Musical Performance Expertise: Deconstructing the ‘Talent’ Account of Individual Differences in Musical Expressivity

The Acquisition of Musical Performance Expertise: Deconstructing the ‘Talent’ Account of Individual Differences in Musical Expressivity

Chapter:
(p.274) (p.275) Chapter 16 The Acquisition of Musical Performance Expertise: Deconstructing the ‘Talent’ Account of Individual Differences in Musical Expressivity
Source:
Exploring the Musical Mind
Author(s):

John Sloboda

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198530121.003.0016

An apparently almost irresistible popular line of explanation for this general lack of musical accomplishment in the population is the invocation of the presence or absence of ‘musical talent’. John Sloboda, Jane Davidson, and Michael Howe proposed the existence of a folk psychology of talent, which postulates substantial innately determined differences between individuals in their capacity for musical accomplishment. One major purpose of this chapter is to marshal evidence and arguments for an alternative view to the prevalent folk psychology. This alternative view holds the capacity for musical accomplishment of one sort or another to be a species-defining characteristic. The chapter addresses the distinction between technical and expressive aspects of musical performance. Those who are prepared to concede that talent might not be the best explanation of technical development are much more reluctant to concede on the issue of expressivity.

Keywords:   musical accomplishment, musical talent, John Sloboda, Jane Davidson, Michael Howe, folk psychology, musical performance, technical development, expressivity

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