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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Systematic approaches to the study of cognition in Western art music performance Kaastra, Linda Tina


This dissertation presents an instrumentalist’s perspective on cognition and meta-cognition in music performance. The goal of the study is to identify and apply methods of inquiry that are phenomenologically resonant with instrumental practice. The first chapter, situating the study in the context of the writer’s musical training, examines ways of studying and representing performance knowledge. The second chapter presents a case study of the preparation of Tōru Takemitsu’s Masque for Two Flutes (1959-1960). Using grounded theory methodology, this chapter investigates the role of gesture in the negotiation of musical understanding. Chapters 3 through 5 draw on Herbert H. Clark’s joint activity theory of language use to conceptualize music-making, taking into account context, process, and other domains of musical activity. Finally, Chapter 6, in addition to re-defining "virtuosity" for the 21st century instrumentalist, presents a set of philosophical considerations for cognitive studies in music performance.

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