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MENC Handbook of Research on Music LearningVolume 1: Strategies$
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Richard Colwell and Peter R. Webster

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195386677

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195386677.001.0001

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Musical Development

Musical Development

Revisiting a Generic Theory

(p.140) 4 Musical Development
MENC Handbook of Research on Music Learning

Keith Swanwick

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the developments in musical learning theories and their implications. It highlights Music as Cognition by psychologist Mary Louise Serafine, and considers her identification of four nontemporal processes: closure, transformation, abstraction, and hierarchic levels. It presents an argument for the validity of the Swanwick-Tillman developmental spiral, and describes how materials, expression, form, and value are attained through mastery, imitation, imaginative play, and metacognition. It recognizes the importance of social sharing, and how the argument uses the process of composing to explicate the various facets of the spiral, and how this applies to performance, to listening, and in cross-cultural situations. It also examines the critical approach advocated by Yaroslav and Susan Senyshyn to developmental learning theories in music.

Keywords:   musical learning theories, Music as Cognition, Mary Louise Serafine, nontemporal processes, closure, transformation, abstraction, hierarchic levels, Swanwick-Tillman developmental spiral

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