Improvisation Experience Predicts How Musicians Categorize Musical Structures

by Andrew Goldman (Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience at Columbia University)

[CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW A SHORT VIDEO (DURATION 3:40)]

This video explains a recent research project on musical improvisation published in Psychology of Music. It shows that more experienced improvisers, compared with less experienced improvisers but otherwise skilled musicians, categorize harmonies with similar functions as being more similar than those with different functions. We argue that this aids the ability to make appropriate substitutions, and shows a difference in the way improvisers structure their musical knowledge that facilitates their abilities to improvise.

For more information about this research project, please view this article in the journal Psychology of Music.

Beginning in Fall 2018, Andrew Goldman will be based at the University of Western Ontario, where he will work with Jonathan De Souza on the Music, Cognition, and the Brain Initiative.

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