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Title: Cognitive processes and memory for piano music.
Authors: Banton, Louise J.
Award date: 1994
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The research described in this thesis investigates the mental processes underlying the reading and recall of piano music. The first study examined memory for good and poor piano music as a function of sight-reading ability and different presentation and recall conditions. The findings indicated that whilst sight-reading accuracy had little effect on recall, sight-reading tempo was highly correlated with recall success. Good music was easier to recall than poor music, and written recall procedures generated greater recall success than played recall procedures. Played recall procedures were found to produce advantages for the immediate recall of music that had been sight-read during stimulus exposure. Written recall procedures produced significant long-term memory advantages, demonstrated by the greater preservation of structurally significant aspects of musical information over periods of extended memory storage. The second study explored the processes underlying memory for musical information by examining the strategies employed by musicians and non-musicians during the learning and written reproduction of scored piano music. The findings indicated that memory performances produced by musicians were superior to those produced by non-musicians and also improved at a faster rate of learning. Musicians were found to employ several knowledge-based music reading strategies that were unavailable to non-musicians, and to vary their reading strategies depending on the type of music that was being read. Although non-musicians were unaffected by the type of music presented to them, both subject groups were found to re-evaluate their use of reading strategies in light of previous recall performance success, and vary strategy employment in order to optimise recall success. The combined findings of these studies suggest that memory for musical information can be enhanced by the conditions surrounding information processing, and that the processes underlying the memory system are governed by highly flexible operations which reflect the degree of pre-existing knowledge possessed by an individual.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: Ph.D.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Psychology
Leicester Theses

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