Non score-dependency: theory and assessment

Robert Harris, Peter van Kranenburg, Bauke de Jong

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedingAcademicpeer-review


    Untrained listeners demonstrate implicit knowledge of syntactic patterns
    and principles. Untrained generative music ability, for example singing,
    humming, and whistling, is a largely unconscious or intuitive application
    of these patterns and principles. From the viewpoint of embodied cognition,
    listening to music should evoke an internal representation or motor
    image which, together with the perception of organized music, should
    form the basis of musical cognition. Indeed, that is what listeners demonstrate
    when they sing, hum, or whistle familiar and unfamiliar tunes or
    when they vocally or orally improvise continuations to interrupted
    phrases. Research on vocal improvisation using continuations sung to an
    interrupted musical phrase, has shown that one’s cultural background
    influences the music generated. That should be the case for instrumentalists
    as well: when they play familiar or unfamiliar tunes by ear in different
    keys (transposition) or when they improvise variations,
    accompaniments, or continuations to interrupted phrases, the music they
    generate should reflect the same cognitive structures as their oral improvisations.
    This study is attempting to validate a test of (non) scoredependency
    that will enable assessment of the music student’s implicit
    knowledge of these structures during performance on the principal instrument.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of ISPS 2011
    EditorsAaron Williamon, Darryl Edwards, Lee Bartel
    Place of PublicationUtrecht
    PublisherAssociation Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC)
    ISBN (Print)978-94-90306-02-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    Event3rd International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS) 2011: Models of Performance - Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    Duration: 24 Aug 201127 Aug 2011
    Conference number: 3rd


    Conference3rd International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS) 2011
    Abbreviated titleISPS 2011
    Internet address


    • non score-dependency
    • improvisation
    • assessment
    • oral proficiency
    • performance


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