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Musical ImaginationsMultidisciplinary perspectives on creativity, performance and perception$
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David Hargreaves, Dorothy Miell, and Raymond MacDonald

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568086

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568086.001.0001

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Musical imagery and imagination: The function, measurement, and application of imagery skills for performance

Musical imagery and imagination: The function, measurement, and application of imagery skills for performance

Chapter:
(p.351) Chapter 22 Musical imagery and imagination: The function, measurement, and application of imagery skills for performance
Source:
Musical Imaginations
Author(s):

Terry Clark

Aaron Williamon

Aleksandar Aksentijevic

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568086.003.0022

Musical imagery, or the deliberate use of imagination by musicians, has traditionally been viewed and considered as the ability to imagine sounds even when no audible sounds are present. However, imagery as used by musicians involves not only sounds but also the physical movements required to create sounds, a ‘view’ of the score or an instrument, and the emotions a musician wishes to express in performance. Current research is considering imagery use for functions including developing and enhancing expressivity during practice and performance, assisting with learning and memorizing music, pre-experiencing performance situations, and assisting in the prevention and treatment of playing-related injuries. A growing body of research employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggests that functional equivalence exists between live and imagined performances within the auditory and motor systems involved in musical performance. This chapter explores the theories and findings this research has produced, together with the implications such findings have for performing musicians. Beyond understanding imagery at a functional level, the ways in which musicians engage with imagery are also of particular interest.

Keywords:   musical imagination, functional magnetic resonance imaging, musicians

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