Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2007

Williamon, A. and Coimbra, D., eds. (2007) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2007. European Association of Conservatoires, Utrecht. ISBN 9789090224848


Performance is a multifaceted pursuit, and as such, the study and investigation of performance has become increasingly interdisciplinary in recent years. The International Symposium on Performance Science aims to bring together artists and scientists, researchers and practitioners, and students and teachers for a lively exchange on performance and the skills which underpin it. The first ISPS, held in Porto’s Casa da Música on 22-23 November 2007, focused on theories, methods, and applications of performance science within the field of music. Musical performance, even at its most elementary levels, requires the management of a wide array of cognitive, motor, perceptual, and social skills. Together, these enable instrumental and vocal control, interpretive insight, and close coordination and synchrony with fellow performers. These skills, moreover, are influenced by the physical strains of practicing and performing, as well as the demands that arise from performing in different venues and in front of different audiences. It seems clear, therefore, that there is tremendous scope for furthering insight into music making by engaging in interdisciplinary discourse and debate; given the diverse nature of musical performance, it also seems clear that the fruits of such discourse will offer far reaching implications for fields beyond music. For ISPS 2007, researchers and practitioners at every level were invited to submit papers on work exploring the interface between skilled artistry and scientific discovery. The result is a collection of articles that showcase recent initiatives which have employed scientific theories and methods to inform the art of performance and used performance as an exemplary means of advancing theories and applications of science. These proceedings, which reflect the chronology of the symposium, represent a broad range of applications and interests from across the field of music, as well as the natural, social, and applied sciences. We hope that this volume will spark further discussion within and beyond music and, importantly, give rise to subsequent collaborative investigations. We believe that it is through an interdisciplinary approach that research will contribute most significantly to the understanding of performance and to assist performers in their primary role: performing.

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