Science and Musical Skills

Andreas C. Lehmann, John A. Sloboda and Robert H. Woody

in Psychology for Musicians

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780195146103
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199851164 | DOI:
Science and Musical Skills

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This chapter explains the basic concepts employed in the study of the psychology of music. Assumptions and ideas are clarified, including the linkage between musical activity and its milieu. The chapter highlights several related points. First, the scientific method is adopted, in conjunction with traditional approaches, to examine and discuss the important issues in music education and psychology. Second, it is proposed that musical ability and talent are culture-specific, vary across time and space, and have much in common with the skills involved in other areas of human behavior, such as sports and science. Lastly, musical learning is defined as the generation of mental representations and complementary cognitive adaptations, and is posited to be crucial to the development of skills in music creation and listening. The effectiveness of an individual's mental representation of the outside world as it translates into music differentiates the novices from the experts.

Keywords: musical learning; scientific method; music; psychology; education; science

Chapter.  8286 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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