This chapter develops a conceptual framework from which to theorize music performance anxiety. It reviews some of the philosophies, such as Cartesian dualism, and research methods such as nomothetic (study of groups or populations) and idiographic (study of the individual) approaches underpinning psychology in order to explicate the concepts and models used in this book to further the understanding of music performance anxiety. It examines definitions and biological and environmental origins of anxiety, and discusses some the key theories of anxiety, including general adaptation syndrome, the generality and specificity models of anxiety, polyvagal theory, and conditioning models derived from learning theory. Emotions, moods, and traits are distinguished along three dimensions — their temporal characteristics, level of awareness, and degree of involvement of bodily states. The discussion concludes with an analysis of the characteristics of two cognitive phenomena involved in anxiety disorders — worry and rumination.
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