Andreas C. Lehmann and Victoria McArthur

in The Science & Psychology of Music Performance

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195138108
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849291 | DOI:

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From a psychological viewpoint, sight-reading involves perception (decoding note patterns), kinesthetics (executing motor programs), memory (recognizing patterns), and problem-solving skills (improvising and guessing). Sight-reading skills seem to be highly trainable and differences in sight-reading ability can be explained through differences in the amount of relevant experience and the size of the knowledge base (e.g., repertoire). The ability to perform with little or no rehearsal may be regarded as a reconstructive activity that involves higher-level mental processes. These are primarily initiated by visual input but also by conceptual knowledge and specific expectations. This chapter discusses common problems in sight-reading of pitches, rhythm, articulation, and expression, and presents suggestions for their remediation through the use of technical equipment, practice of isolated parameters, and strategic preparations for playing.

Keywords: sight-reading; note patterns; improvising

Chapter.  7005 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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