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Music and the MindEssays in honour of John Sloboda$
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Irène Deliège and Jane Davidson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199581566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199581566.001.0001

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Performance cues in singing: evidence from practice and recall

Performance cues in singing: evidence from practice and recall

(p.339) Chapter 17 Performance cues in singing: evidence from practice and recall
Music and the Mind

Jane Ginsborg

Roger Chaffin

Oxford University Press

Although long-term recall has been studied for many years, there have been comparatively few investigations of long-term recall for music performance. The study described in this chapter examined an experienced singer's long-term recall for the words and melody of Stravinsky's Ricercar 1, for soprano and small instrumental ensemble. The singer recorded nine practice/rehearsal sessions with the conductor as accompanist over four weeks and wrote out the words and music from memory times over a five-year period. The musicians annotated copies of the score to indicate the location of musical features to which they attended during practice and performance cues to which they attended during performance. Comparison with the location of starts, stops, and repetitions during practice showed what the singer paid attention to. The performance cues to which the singer reported attending on stage were prepared during the weeks that preceded the public performance and continued to affect her recall of the piece in the months and years that followed.

Keywords:   recall, singers, soprano, Stravinsky, Ricercar, performance cues, memory, lacunae

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