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Volume 2 Issue 2 (2006)

Music performance original article

pp. 99-102 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0048-6

William Forde Thompson, Simone Dalla Bella, Peter E. Keller

Abstract

Music performance

Music performance anxiety: New insights from young musicians original article

pp. 103-112 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0049-5

Dianna T. Kenny, Margaret S. Osborne

Abstract

Music performance anxiety (MPA) is a relatively neglected psychological phenomenon that rarely appears in mainstream psychological journals or textbooks. To date, this field of inquiry has focused primarily on professional and amateur adult musicians or college level music students. With the exception of a small number of recent additions to the literature, there have been few studies examining the experience of MPA in younger musicians. In this paper, we review our work on MPA in general, and summarize our recent work with young musicians. We argue that the experience of MPA may begin early in a musical career and that the characteristics of this experience are qualitatively similar to those experienced by adult musicians. There are therefore compelling reasons to address MPA early and to take a strong preventive focus on a condition that to date shows persistence over time and only modest response to available treatments.

Keywords: music performance anxiety, young musicians, assessment, cognition

Practicing perfection: How concert soloists prepare for performance original article

pp. 113-130 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0050-z

Roger Chaffin, Topher Logan

Abstract

Musical performances by concert soloists in the Western classical tradition are normally memorized. For memory to work reliably under the pressures of the concert stage, the performance must be practiced until it is thoroughly automatic. At the same time, the performance must be fresh and spontaneous in order to communicate emotionally with the audience. The resolution of this apparent contradiction is provided by longitudinal case studies of concert soloists preparing new works for performance. Like expert memorists in other domains, experienced musicians use highly practiced retrieval schemes to accomplish their extraordinary feats of memory. Performers have a mental map of the piece in mind as they perform that tells them where they are and what comes next - a series of landmarks, hierarchically organized by the sections and subsections of the music. The musician attends to these performance cues in order to ensure that the performance unfolds as planned. Performance cues are established by thinking about a particular feature of the music during practice so that it later comes to mind automatically. Performance cues help the soloist consciously monitor and control the rapid, automatic actions of playing, while adjusting to the needs of the moment. During practice, the musician attends mostly to basic performance cues representing critical technical features (e.g., fingerings), and interpretive performance cues, representing phrasings, and changes in dynamics, tempo, and timbre. During performance, the musician hopes to attend mainly to expressive performance cues representing the musical feelings to be conveyed to the audience (e.g. excitement). We illustrate this analysis with a typical case study of a concert pianist learning J.S. Bach's Italian Concerto (Presto).

Keywords: music performance, expert memory, skill learning

The KTH synthesis of singing original article

pp. 131-143 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0051-y

Johan Sundberg

Abstract

This is an overview of the work with synthesizing singing that has been carried out at the Speech Music Hearing Department, KTH since 1977. The origin of the work, a hardware synthesis machine, is described and some aspects of the control program, a modified version of a text-to-speech conversion system are reviewed. Three applications are described in which the synthesis system has paved the way for investigations of specific aspects of the singing voice. One concerns the perceptual relevance of the center frequency of the singer's formant, one deals with characteristics of an ugly voice, and one regards intonation. The article is accompanied by 18 sound examples, several of which were not published before. Finally, limitations and advantages of singing synthesis are discussed.

Keywords: singing voice, formants, voice source, music performance, analysis-by-synthesis

Overview of the KTH rule system for musical performance original article

pp. 145-161 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0052-x

Anders Friberg, Roberto Bresin, Johan Sundberg

Abstract

The KTH rule system models performance principles used by musicians when performing a musical score, within the realm of Western classical, jazz and popular music. An overview is given of the major rules involving phrasing, micro-level timing, metrical patterns and grooves, articulation, tonal tension, intonation, ensemble timing, and performance noise. By using selections of rules and rule quantities, semantic descriptions such as emotional expressions can be modeled. A recent real-time implementation provides the means for controlling the expressive character of the music. The communicative purpose and meaning of the resulting performance variations are discussed as well as limitations and future improvements.

Keywords: Music performance modeling, rule system, expression

Rate limits of sensorimotor synchronization original article

pp. 163-181 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0053-9

Bruno H. Repp

Abstract

Empirical evidence for upper and lower rate limits of sensorimotor synchronization (typically, finger tapping with an auditory or visual event sequence) is reviewed. If biomechanical constraints are avoided, the upper rate limit can be as high as 8-10 Hz (sequence event inter-onset intervals of 100-125 ms) with auditory stimuli, but has been found to be less than 2.5 Hz (> 400 ms) with simple visual stimuli (flashes of light). The upper rate limit for auditory stimuli varies with task difficulty and musical experience; that for visual stimuli requires further investigation. The lower rate limit, according to one definition, tend stobe at about 0.56 Hz (1800 ms), regardless of modality. Attentional, perceptual, and sensorimotor explanations of these limits are considered. Rate limits of sensorimotor synchronization place important constraints on musical ensemble performance and other forms of rhythmic coordination.

Keywords: synchronization, tapping, timing, rhythm, rate limits

Coordination of perception and action in music performance original article

pp. 183-198 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0054-8

Peter Q. Pfordresher

Abstract

This review summarizes recent research on the way in which music performance may rely on the perception of sounds that accompany actions (termed auditory feedback). Alterations of auditory feedback can profoundly disrupt performance, though not all alterations cause disruption and different alterations generate different types of disruption. Recent results have revealed a basic distinction between the role of feedback contents (musical pitch) and the degree to which feedback onsets are synchronized with actions. These results further suggest a theoretical framework for the coordination of actions with feedback in which perception and action share a common representation of sequence structure.

Keywords: music performance, sequence production, auditory feedback

Music-reading deficiencies and the brain original article

pp. 199-206 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0055-7

Sylvie Hébert, Lola L. Cuddy

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on brain damage and music-reading for the past 25 years. Acquired patterns of selective loss and sparing are described, including both the association and dissociation of music and text reading, and association and dissociation among components of music reading. As well, we suggest that developmental music - reading deficiencies may be isolated in a form analogous to developmental dyslexia for text or congenital amusia for auditory music processing. Finally, we propose that the results of brain damage studies can contribute to the development of a model of normal music reading.

Keywords: music reading, brain damage, music dyslexia

Focal dystonia in musicians: From phenomenology to therapy original article

pp. 207-220 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0056-6

Hans-Christian Jabusch, Eckart Altenmüller

Abstract

Background: Musician's dystonia is a task-specific movement disorder which manifests itself as a loss of voluntary motor control in extensively trained movements. In many cases, the disorder terminates the careers of affected musicians. Approximately 1% of all professional musicians are affected. Etiology and Pathophysiology: The pathophysiology of the disorder is still unclear. Findings include (a) reduced inhibition in different levels of the central nervous system, (b) maladaptive plasticity, e.g. in the somatosensory cortex and in the basal ganglia, and (c) alterations in sensorimotor processing. Epidemiological data demonstrated a higher risk for those musicians who play instruments requiring maximal fine-motor skills. For instruments where workload differs across hands, focal dystonia appears more often in the more intensely used hand. In psychological studies, musicians with dystonia had more perfectionist tendencies than healthy musicians. These findings strengthen the assumption that behavioral factors may be involved in the etiology of musician's dystonia. Hereditary factors may play a greater role than previously assumed. Preliminary findings suggest a genetic contribution to focal task-specific dystonia with phenotypic variations including musician's dystonia. Treatment: Treatment options for musician's dystonia include pharmacological interventions such as administration of Trihexyphenidyl or Botulinum Toxin-A as well as retraining programs and ergonomic changes in the instrument. A long-term follow-up study was performed in 144 patients with musician's dystonia. The outcome was revealed on average 8.4 years after onset of symptoms. Outcome was assessed by patients' subjective rating of cumulative treatment response and response to individual therapies. Seventy-seven patients (54%) reported an alleviation of symptoms: 33% of the patients with Trihexyphenidyl, 49% with Botulinum Toxin, 50% with pedagogical retraining, 56% with unmonitored technical exercises, and 63% with ergonomic changes. In embouchure dystonia, only 15% of patients reported improvement.The results demonstrate that the situation of musicians with focal hand dystonia may be significantly improved. Positive results after retraining and unmonitored technical exercises underline the benefit of an active involvement of patients in the treatment process. Only exceptionally, however, can musicians with focal dystonia return to normal motor control using the currently available therapies.

Keywords: musicians’ cramp; focal dystonia, treatment, botulinum-toxin, trihexyphenidyl
10 

Neural correlates of rhythmic expectancy original article

pp. 221-231 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0057-5

Theodore P. Zanto, Joel S. Snyder, Edward W. Large

Abstract

Temporal expectancy is thought to play a fundamental role in the perception of rhythm. This review summarizes recent studies that investigated rhythmic expectancy by recording neuroelectric activity with high temporal resolution during the presentation of rhythmic patterns. Prior event-related brain potential (ERP) studies have uncovered auditory evoked responses that reflect detection of onsets, offsets, sustains,and abrupt changes in acoustic properties such as frequency, intensity, and spectrum, in addition to indexing higher-order processes such as auditory sensory memory and the violation of expectancy. In our studies of rhythmic expectancy, we measured emitted responses - a type of ERP that occurs when an expected event is omitted from a regular series of stimulus events - in simple rhythms with temporal structures typical of music. Our observations suggest that middle-latency gamma band (20-60 Hz) activity (GBA) plays an essential role in auditory rhythm processing. Evoked (phase-locked) GBA occurs in the presence of physically presented auditory events and reflects the degree of accent. Induced (non-phase-locked) GBA reflects temporally precise expectancies for strongly and weakly accented events in sound patterns. Thus far, these findings support theories of rhythm perception that posit temporal expectancies generated by active neural processes.

Keywords: meter, temporal expectancy, auditory perception, gamma-band activity, electroencephalography, rhythm, perception, attention
11 

"Musical Excellence: Strategies and techniques to enhance performance" BOOK REVIEW original article

pp. 233-237 | First published on 30 June 2006 | DOI:10.2478/v10053-008-0058-4

Dianna T. Kenny

Abstract

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