The keyboard as a part of visual, auditory and kinesthetic processing in sight-reading at the piano
Sight-reading at the piano requires coordination of multiple modalities—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual feedback (obtained by looking at the keyboard and the fingers) is usually regarded as one means by which pianists guide musical performance, but few researchers have focused on the organisational aspects implicit in the information provided by the keyboard. This study investigated the role of the keyboard with respect to the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities involved in sight-reading. Five pianists sight-read two compositions, each in a different musical style. They were then interviewed in a semi-structured interview format. A qualitative content analysis was made from the data. The keyboard proved to play a significant role in sight-reading at the piano: the results indicated that the keyboard was involved in generating visual, auditory, and kinesthetic imageries, as well as motor actions. The pianists also relied on visual feedback in order to execute discrete movements on the keyboard. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic processing were all dependent on contextual factors identified in the score as well as on whether the composition was tonal or non-tonal. The utilisation of the keyboard, brought on by effective visual input, involved two kinds of sensory dimensions: visual-kinesthetic imagery and (visual-) auditory-kinesthetic imagery. The former led to partly pre-defined motor responses and the latter, to flexible finger movements. On the other hand, visual feedback seemed to be utilised when the pianists were unable to conceptualise the information available in the score. ...
ConferenceESCOM 2009 : 7th Triennial Conference of European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music
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- ESCOM 2009