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  • 1.
    Huovinen, Erkki
    et al.
    Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Department of Music Education.
    Tuuri, Kai
    Pleasant musical imagery: Eliciting cherished music in the second person2019In: Music perception, ISSN 0730-7829, E-ISSN 1533-8312, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 314-330Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article introduces the notion of pleasant musical imagery (PMI) for denoting everyday phenomena where people want to cherish music ‘‘in their heads.’’ This account differs from current para- digms for studying musical imagery in that it is not based a priori on (in)voluntariness of the experience. An empirical investigation of the structure and experi- ential content in 50 persons’ experiences of PMI applied the elicitation interview method. Peer judgments of the interviews helped to bridge a phenomenological inves- tigation of particular experiences with systematic between-subjects analysis. Both structural features of the imagery (e.g., Looseness of structure or Looping) and content features of the imagery (e.g., Embodied evoca- tiveness and Object-directedness) showed significant associations with participants’ individual characteris- tics, personality, and/or cognitive style. The approach taken suggests a new paradigm for studying musical imagery—one that is based on tracing the interactional and enactive processes of ‘‘inner listening.’’

  • 2.
    Huovinen, Erkki
    et al.
    Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Department of Music Education.
    Ylitalo, Anna-Kaisa
    Puurtinen, Marjaana
    Early attraction in temporally controlled sight reading of music2018In: Journal of Eye Movement Research, no 2, p. 1-30, article id 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A music reader has to “look ahead” from the notes currently being played—this has usually been called the Eye-Hand Span. Given the restrictions on processing time due to tempo and meter, the Early Attraction Hypothesis suggests that sight readers are likely to locally in- crease the span of looking ahead in the face of complex upcoming symbols (or symbol re- lationships). We argue that such stimulus-driven effects on looking ahead are best studied using a measure of Eye-Time Span (ETS) which redefines looking ahead as the metrical distance between the position of a fixation in the score and another position that corresponds to the point of metrical time at fixation onset. In two experiments of temporally controlled sight reading, musicians read simple stepwise melodies that were interspersed with larger intervallic skips, supposed to create points of higher melodic complexity (and visual sali- ence) at the notes following the skips. The results support both Early Attraction (lengthening of looking ahead) and Distant Attraction (lengthening of incoming saccades) in the face of relative melodic complexity. Notably, such effects also occurred on the notes preceding the nominally complex ones. The results suggest that saccadic control in music reading depends on temporal restrictions as well as on local variations in stimulus complexity.

  • 3. Loimusalo, Nina
    Memorizing silently to perform tonal and nontonal notated music: A mixed-methods study with pianists2018In: Psychomusicology, ISSN 0275-3987, E-ISSN 2162-1535, Vol. 28, no 4, p. 222-239Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Musicians use silent music reading for memorizing, and this includes different types of mental imagery and analytical functions. The aim of this mixed-methods study was to address the effects of musical expertise, general level cognitive traits, and situational strategies on pianists’ performances after silent memorizing of notated music. We also compared pianists’ silent memorizing strategies between tonal and nontonal music. Thirty pianists performed short musical excerpts from memory after silently reading the notation for 1 minute. Following this, they described their memorizing strategies in an interview, and completed tests of cognitive style, aural skills, working memory, and music-processing style. The performances were assessed in terms of “recall rate” separately for both hands (accuracy of memorization) and “overall impression” (pianistic fluency and style). In tonal music, pianists’ aural imagery focused on imagining the melody, whereas in nontonal music, aural imagery typically focused on rhythmic aspects. In tonal music, conceptual strategies were related to traditional music analysis, whereas in nontonal music they were more piecemeal and atomistic in nature. According to linear mixed-effect models, right-hand recall rate was associated with higher aural skills, but left-hand recall rate was related to verbal cognitive style and analytical music-processing style, that is, more frequent use of music analysis in regular practice. Better performances in terms of overall impression were related to higher aural skills. Music education develops skills and strategies that are effective for memorizing, and beyond one’s working memory capacity. However, cognitive styles may also play a role in musicians’ silent memorizing.

  • 4. Loimusalo, Nina
    et al.
    Huovinen, Erkki
    Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Department of Music Education.
    Puurtinen, Marjaana
    Successful approaches to mental practice: A case study of four pianists2019In: Music Performance Research, ISSN 1755-9219, E-ISSN 1755-9219, Vol. 9, p. 101-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Musicians often use mental practice for enhancing performance, but individuals may have different preferences and skills in their characteristic, individually successful ways of carrying out such practice. In this study, we focus on the approaches to mental practice of four pianists who, according to the ratings of a panel of expert judges, showed outstanding improvement in their performances following their mental practice of a new piece in at least one of the two conditions: silent reading of the score or reading the score while simultaneously listening to the music. The four pianists’ approaches to mentalpractice were studied through self-reports in post-task interviews that were compared with eye-tracking data gathered during the actual mental practice. In successful mental practice, the pianists relied on their experience and the skills they had practised in audiation, use of recordings, imaginary rehearsal, and structural analysis. The results encourage musicians to explore their characteristic approaches to mental practice, and to deliberately practise and develop versatile mental practice skills in order to apply them flexibly in different musical situations. Eye tracking was found to be a useful tool for validating and supplementing musicians’ subjective self-descriptions and for revealing covert mental processes in the context of music reading.

  • 5.
    Uddholm, Mats
    Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Department of Music Education.
    Om professionella aktörers musikpedagogiska definitionsmakt: En kulturhistorisk studie av samband mellan musikpedagogisk teori och definitionsmakt2012Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to illuminate which role theories of music education can have in the dialectic between discourse and competence in the practice of music pedagogy. The thesis stems from a problem-oriented project that resulted in the formulation of the following research question: how can the connection between music education theory and the power of definition be described and problematized from a cultural-historical perspective using Vygotsky's thesis of Semiotic Thinking? In his research on the dual function of language Vygotsky makes a distinction between the usage of concepts and conceptualization. In this study this distinction has been crucial to determining the relationship between music education theory and the power of definition as practised in music pedagogy. The research project comprised a background study and three sub-studies. The focus of the background-study was the conditions for musical learning and development in persons with severe cognitive dysfunctions. The first sub-study dealt with how social workers in this area of special education conceptualise their view of music in relation to their understanding of music activities in their own practice. The second sub-study aimed to explore which concepts music-therapists use in their meta-reflections on musical situations in this area of special education. The purpose of the third sub-study was to formulate a theoretical perspective on the relationship between music education theory and the power of definition using Vygotsky's hypothesis of semiotic thinking. The main conclusions are: first, that music education theory can be understood as a structural coupling between the power of definition that is embedded in music-pedagogical discourse as a whole, and the power of definition possessed by music pedagogues; second, that the development of the power of definition in the practice of music pedagogy is a creative process that in turn entails a critical questioning of music education theory.

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