A longitudinal study of the development of expressive timing

Demos, A. P. and Lisboa, T. and Begosh, K. T. and Logan, T. and Chaffin, R. (2018) A longitudinal study of the development of expressive timing. Psychology of Music. ISSN 0305-7356 (In Press)

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Tempo arches have often been reported in polished music performances, but their development during the learning of a new piece has not been studied. We examined the development of expressive timing at three levels of musical structure (piece, section, phrase) as an experienced concert soloist (the second author) prepared the Prelude from J. S. Bach’s Suite No. 6 for solo cello for public performance. We used mixed effect models to assess the development of expressive timing and the effects of the performance cues (PCs) that the cellist used as mental landmarks to guide her performance. Tempo arches appeared early in practice at all three levels of musical structure and changed over time in complex ways, first becoming more pronounced and more asymmetrical and then shrinking somewhat in later performances. Arches were also more pronounced in phrases that contained PCs, suggesting that PCs reminded the cellist where to “breathe” between phrases. The early development of tempo arches suggests that they were an automatic product of basic cognitive or motor processes. The complex trajectory of their later development appeared to be the result, at least in part, of a deliberate communicative strategy intended to draw listeners’ attention to some musical boundaries more than others.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Music performance, musical expression, musical interpretation, performance memory, music practice
Subjects: Performance Science
Music Psychology
Music Education
Division: Performance Science
Depositing User: Tania Lisboa
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 15:31
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2018 16:53
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735618783563
URI: http://researchonline.rcm.ac.uk/id/eprint/309

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