Journal article

Sight-reading of violinists: eye movements anticipate the musical flow

  • Wurtz, Pascal Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Clinical Research and Neurology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Mueri, René M. Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Clinical Research and Neurology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Wiesendanger, Mario Institute of Physiology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
    10.02.2009
Published in:
  • Experimental Brain Research. - 2009, vol. 194, no. 3, p. 445-450
English When sight-reading a piece of music the eyes constantly scan the score slightly ahead of music execution. This separation between reading and acting is commonly termed eye-hand span and can be expressed in two ways: as anticipation in notes or in time. Previous research, predominantly in piano players, found skill-dependent differences of eye-hand span. To date no study has explored visual anticipation in violinists. The present study investigated how structural properties of a piece of music affect the eye-hand span in a group of violinists. To this end eye movements and bow reversals were recorded synchronously while musicians sight-read a piece of music. The results suggest that structural differences of the score are reflected in the eye- hand span in a way similar to skill level. Specifically, the piece with higher complexity was associated with lower anticipation in notes, longer fixation duration and a tendency for more regressive fixations. Anticipation in time, however, remained the same (~1 s) independently of the score played but was correlated with playing tempo. We conclude that the eye-hand span is not only influenced by the experience of the musician, but also by the structure of the score to be played.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Médecine
Language
  • English
Classification
Biology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/301190
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