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ISSN 2309-9852 (Online)
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The Faculty of Psychology. Lomonosov Moscow State University.
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Boyko L.A., Tereshchenko L.V., Velichkovsky B.B., Latanov A.V. (2019). Visual-motor activity of professional pianists at sight-reading music. Moscow University Psychology Bulletin, 2, 3-26

Relevance. The musical activity of a professional pianist has been little studied by objective methods. For most musicians, the task of sight-reading causes a difficulty in both academic and professional activities. Understanding the visual-motor mechanisms and cognitive processes involved in the implementation of sight-reading can help musical pedagogical practice. There are few sight-reading studies and most of them were conducted in conditions far from the real ones. This work is interdisciplinary that involved the interests of musical pedagogy, psychology and physiology.

Objective. On the base of the cognitive task of sight-reading music in conditions close to reality to explore the interaction of visual-motor parameters and their relationship with the parameters of the working memory.

Methods. 55 subjects aged 18–25 years (30 pianists and 25 non-pianists) were tested using the OS and N-back method to determine individual parameters of the working memory, as well as to determine the time of a complex visual-motor response. Eye tracking method was utilized for eye movement recording when the pianists sight read sheet of notes.

Results.The visual-motor performance parameters (eye hand span, errors and regressions) differ significantly at sight-reading musical fragments of varying complexity. Compared with the literature data we obtained opposite results for value of the eye hand span depending on the complexity of the musical text. We revealed correlations between the visual-motor parameters and the working memory parameters as well as their dependence on the quality of performance.

Conclusion. Objectively recorded visual-motor parameters complexly interact with each other. The mastery of sight-reading music of professional pianists closely related with individual parameters of the working memory.

Received: 12/26/2018

Accepted: 01/14/2019

Pages: 3-26

DOI: 10.11621/vsp.2019.02.03

Keywords: sight-reading; eye movements; working memory; eye-hand span; music studies;

By: Tereshchenko, Leonid V.; Velichkovsky, Boris B.; Latanov, Aleksandr V.; Boyko, Lyubov A.;

Available Online: 05/30/2019


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Moscow University Psychology Bulletin, 2007 - 2019