Music performance involves not only hundreds of muscles, coordinated to produce the desired musical result, but also a variety of cognitive mechanisms, including complex emotional and analytic processes.

Music performance is considered one of the most complex human activities. It involves not only hundreds of muscles, coordinated to produce the desired musical result, but also a variety of cognitive mechanisms, including complex emotional and analytic processes (Zatorre et al., 2007). The study of music performance has yielded important insights into brain processes, including neural plasticity (Schlaug et al., 1995; Schlaug, 2001; Münte et al., 2002; Schneider et al., 2005), motor control (Slobounov et al., 2002; Watson, 2006), rhythmic control (Rammsayer and Altenmüller, 2006; Repp and Doggett, 2007; Goebl and Palmer, 2009), and emotional communication (Gabrielsson and Juslin, 1996; Juslin, 1997; Juslin and Laukka, 2003). The information acquired through systematic studies is invaluable in its contribution to our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying music perception and performance. However, such studies are limited in their ability to simulate the atmosphere of a concert performance, or to systematically follow the long period of training required to master a musical piece. Hence, it may be beneficial to obtain additional information by studying the strategies employed by professional concert artists to optimize their practice routines and their performance under stressful conditions. Such strategies enable them to confront many of the physiological constraints dictated by the muscular and central nervous system. In this short note, we highlight some key properties of these strategies and their possible relevance to studying other complex human activities:

journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnsys.2013.00035/full

Front. Syst. Neurosci., 31 July 2013 Country:Italy

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