Aiello, R. and Williamon, A. (2002) Memory. In: The Science and Psychology of Music Performance: Creative Strategies for Teaching and Learning. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 167-181. ISBN 9780195138108


There is extensive biographical and anecdotal information on the memory of exceptional musicians, but only recently has there been systematic psychological research, and this has mostly focused on pianists. Historical reasons for performing from memory can be traced to Clara Wieck Schumann and Franz Liszt. General theories of expert memory can help us understand how expert musicians memorize music. Auditory, kinesthetic, and visual information contribute to musical memory. Recent psychological research suggests the importance of explicitly analyzing the score. Memory strategies depend on the skill of the performer and the style and difficulty of the music to be memorized. The ability to memorize seems to be enhanced by studying music theory and analysis. Learning to improvise in the style of the music could also be helpful.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item