Scholarly article on topic 'Music Learning and Performing: Applying Written and Oral Strategies'

Music Learning and Performing: Applying Written and Oral Strategies Academic research paper on "Psychology"

Share paper
OECD Field of science
{"written and oral music learning strategies" / "Western and non-Western music" / "learning experiences" / "cognitive-affective domains" / "music neuroscience"}

Abstract of research paper on Psychology, author of scientific article — Valerie Ross

Abstract There are different approaches to music learning and performing. As there exists many types of music and musical instruments, various strategies have emerged to address the challenges of learning and playing such instruments. Taking the learning of the violin and the rebab as case studies, this paper explores the fundamental differences in the learning and playing of Western and non-Western musical instruments by using written strategies and oral strategies. It discusses listening and learning processes, developments in music neuroscience research and argues that the purpose of performance significantly influences the process of preparation. The study posits that the embodiment of music learning experiences in Western art music and traditional music may be viewed from the position of (i) learning and playing using written strategies and oral strategies, (ii) the impact of learning intentionality as an expression of individualism verses collectivism and that (iii) cognitive-affective learning domains are triggered by different music learning strategies adopted. A model comparing the learning strategies elucidated is presented.

Academic research paper on topic "Music Learning and Performing: Applying Written and Oral Strategies"

Available online at


Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 90 (2013) 870 - 878

6th International Conference on University Learning and Teaching (InCULT 2012)

Music Learning and Performing: Applying Written and Oral


Valerie Rossa*

aFaculty of Music, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40200, Shah Alam, Malaysia


There are different approaches to music learning and performing. As there exists many types of music and musical instruments, various strategies have emerged to address the challenges of learning and playing such instruments. Taking the learning of the violin and the rebab as case studies, this paper explores the fundamental differences in the learning and playing of Western and non-Western musical instruments by using written strategies and oral strategies. It discusses listening and learning processes, developments in music neuroscience research and argues that the purpose of performance significantly influences the process of preparation. The study posits that the embodiment of music learning experiences in Western art music and traditional music may be viewed from the position of (i) learning and playing using written strategies and oral strategies, (ii) the impact of learning intentionality as an expression of individualism verses collectivism and that (iii) cognitive-affective learning domains are triggered by different music learning strategies adopted. A model comparing the learning strategies elucidated is presented.

© 2013TheAuthors.Publishedby ElsevierLtd.

Selectionand/or peer-review under responsibilityof theFacultyofEducation,UniversityTechnologyMARA,Malaysia.

Keywords: written and oral music learning strategies; Western and non-Western music; learning experiences; cognitive-affective domains, music neuroscience

1. Introduction

Music is primarily learnt by listening, reading or visualising, observing and performing. The ability to hear accurately and respond intelligently is critical to the development of good musicianship and performance skills. This paper explores the fundamental differences in the learning and performing of Western and non-Western musical instruments by reading music notation and by listening or ear playing. It examines cognitive-affective

* Corresponding author.

E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the Faculty of Education, University Technology MARA, Malaysia. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.07.163

listening and learning strategies and extrapolates the manner in which the purpose of performance significantly influences the process of preparation.

Utilising case study and ethnographic approaches, and informed by research developments in music-neuroscience, the paper examines two learning scenarios, a violinist preparing for an ABRSM examination and a 'rebab' player preparing for a Malay traditional theatre performance ('Mak Yong').

2. Background: violin and rebab

The violin needs no introduction. Its position as a mainstay of the symphony orchestra and as a solo instrument is undisputable. Every year, learners from all over the world study the instrument, benchmarking their playing standards through graded music examinations. In 2009 alone, 549,510 music students took the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examinations of which 55,036 were violin candidates (ABRSM 2011). Founded in 1889, the ABRSM external music examinations are conducted in over 90 countries. Its publishing arm and its online learning support reaches music teachers, students, parents and music enthusiasts directly. It's syllabus as assumed the role of a 'curriculum' for many peripatetic music teachers (Ross, 2006, 2009).

At the other end of the spectrum is the Malay rebab, a three-string lute originally from the Middle East dating around 9thto10th century, although its exact origin is not known with certainty (Dobbs & Kartomi, 2011). Brought by traders into the Malay archipelago, this instrument was historically associated with healing rituals ('Main Puteri'), reflecting its mystical significance as a 'voice' connecting to the spirit world. Melodies played on the rebab serve as a cue for pitching by singers during story telling (Matusky & Tan, 2004). Ritual performances were also enacted to pay homage to a teacher and for the graduation of a performer. The rebab is the key instrument in 'Mak Yong', a folk theatre genre that includes stylized solo and choral singing, stylized dance and drama, popular in Kelantan, a northern state in Malaysia. In 1991, the performance of this art form was banned by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party partly because of its animist and Hindu-Buddhist roots.

In 2005, UNESCO declared 'Mak Yong' a 'Masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity' (UNESCO, 2011). 'Mak Yong' is considered the most authentic and representative form of the Malay performing arts (Ghouse 2004). Passed down orally among villagers, its exact age is uncertain but estimated to be 800 years old at the very least. Historians are unsure whether 'Mak Yong' evolved as a folk tradition or a palace theatre. Either way it was patronised by various layers of society to pay respect to the spirits, give thanks for the harvest or for entertainment. The 'Mak Yong' ensemble comprises the three-stringed spiked lute ('rebab'), drum ('gendang') and a pair of gongs. It may also include the oboe ('serunai), 'keduk' drums and small cymbals ('kesi'). Each performance begins with a salutation to the rebab ('menghadap rebab') by the dancers (Mohd Anis Md Nor, 2005). In recent years there has been a concerted effort to revive this art form, spearheaded by the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Malaysia. The rebab is now taught by practitioners from Kelantan and the study of 'Mak Yong' is part of the core curriculum in the diploma and undergraduate music degree programmes at ASWARA (2011). A new generation of rebab players, schooled in both Western and non-Western learning traditions is emerging yet there is little scientific research on the learning of this unique instrument.

3. Learning by listening

Listening to music communicates interpersonal and ideational meaning. Different music is linked with various styles or ways of listening. Bourdieu (1977) refers to the 'habitus of listening' to describe listening conditions in relation to the musical event and its dependency on history and human memory whereby certain behaviours or beliefs can no longer be recalled and becomes socialized into individuals of that culture. Rost (2002) distinguishes four types of listening, namely, (i) appreciative, (ii) comprehensive or informational, (iii)

critical or deliberative and (iv) empathic. Kreutz et al. (2008) demonstrated the existence of top-down listening strategies, classifying listeners as (i) music-empathizers (those who focus on the affective aspects or emotions portrayed) or as (ii) music-systemizers (those who are more interested in finding structures behind the music).

Listening strategies are therefore, techniques or activities that contribute directly to the comprehension and recall, classified by how the listener processes the listening input. In applying top-down strategies, the listener taps into the background knowledge and context of the situation, thus activating a set of expectations that help the listeners interpret what is heard and to anticipate what will come next. Strategies include listening for the main idea, predicting, drawing inferences and summarising (Oxford 1990).

3.1 Process of listening and brain cognition

In the first instance, sound waves collected by the outer ear (pinna) travels through the auditory ear canal, bumps against the tympanic membrane (eardrum) which vibrates with these sound waves. The vibration moves tiny bones (ossicles) in the middle ear which then carry vibrations into the inner ear to a fluid-filled tube called the cochlea. The fluid inside the cochlea vibrates a series of tiny hairs called cilia, which are attached to auditory nerves. The movement of these cilia stimulates the nerve cells. This wave-like motion causes the basilar membrane to vibrate. As the basilar membrane moves up and down, the tiny hairs (stereocilia) on top of the hair cells open and close to change the electrical charge of the cell. This results in a release of chemicals (neurotransmitter), which signals auditory nerve fibres to fire. The auditory nerve sends these impulses up to the brain, where the signal is interpreted as sound (Boystown National Research Hospital, 2011). The brain processes these signals into the sounds we hear, identifying the sound vibrations as familiar words or music. The brain does not automatically translate these words into the message they are conveying. That is essentially what 'listening' is - determining the meaning of the sounds in an active process that involves much more than assigning labels. It is an 'act' of interpretation. Therefore, hearing, listening, learning and performing music embodies the inherent individualistic complexities of musical cognition and expression. The following figure illustrates the listening and learning path.


1 .Pinna (gathers sound waves)

2. External Auditory Canal (Ear Canal)


3. Tympanic membrane /ear drum (vibrations)

4. Ossicles (tiny bones-malleus,incus,staples)

5.Round window (membrane)

6. Oval window (membrane)

7. Eustachian tube (connects to throat, balancing system)


8. Temporal bone

9. Vestibule (central inner ear cavity)

10. Cochlea (organ of hearing-scala tympani, scala media, scala vestibuli- hair cells convert mechanical energy from vibrations into electrical impulses which are sent to the auditory nerves

11. Semi-circular canals (part of the balance system.

12. Auditory nerve (transmits information up the hrainstem tn the auriitnrv nnrtey

12 - 8 10

Figure 1 : Listening Process (source: Boystown National Research Hospital,

Furthermore, learning and playing a musical instrument not only involves the cognitive but evaluative and affective processes. Even general music listeners have been found to unconsciously assess the quality of the music heard according to a positive or negative value, on the basis of properties such as the overall structure, melodic attractiveness and harmonic congruousness (Peretz & Zatorre, 2003).

4. Learning music as an embodiment of experience

Becker (2004) broaches the gulf between disciplines in addressing the concept of the 'embodiment of experience'. She proposes a 'multiple sense' of embodiment by embracing the notion of:

i. The body as a physical structure in which emotion and cognition happens (as guided by studies in mainstream cognitive science including music cognition, formalist theories of language in psychological studies and in neuroscience)

ii. The body as the site of a first-person's unique inner-life (as in the traditional domain of the arts and the humanities in phenomenology)

iii. The body as involved with other bodies in the phenomenal world - 'being-in-the-world' (as in the naturalist assumption that all human beings, being living organisms, are constantly changing due to interactions with the social world and the environment)

These three positions illustrate the scientific-humanistic paradigm of embodiment. Nevertheless, an unresolved question facing educational researchers who work within the sociocultural paradigm is the relationship between group-level knowledge and the individual learning that takes place in each individual's mind (Sawyer, 2007). Sociocultural psychology rejects the instructionist 'transmission and acquisition' model of learning, in favour of a socially embedded model that describes learning as transformations of patterns of participation (Rogoff, 1990, 1998). This position is certainly relevant in the domain of collective music making and group performance. Furthermore, a view among neuroscientists is that the electrical and chemical processes of the brain are coterminous with the mind (Edelmann 1992, Pankeepp 1998). While the brain can be considered objectively (eg. having names of the parts and be physically dissected), the mind has a fluid mental life that is full of inner experience which is more difficult to study scientifically and can only be known by its owner or a 'first person' phenomenological experience. This individual 'mind' has been nurtured by culture, social interaction, learning experience, environment and upbringing. This paper is influenced by such dualistic notions of scientific and social embodiments of experience, transmogrified into the two interrelated realms of music learning and performing.

5. Comparing two learning scenarios

Here, two music learning situations are compared, a violinist, referred to as VC and the other, a rebab player, referred to as RZ. This article is part of a larger mix-mode study that compares the learning and performance of Western music and non-Western music by reading music notation and by oral tradition through the examination of brainwave frequencies. Interview sessions with several violinists and rebab players were conducted over a period of three months from which two exemplary cases were extracted. The following cases briefly illuminate the music learning experiences of two 18 year-old music learners.

Case study 1: Adopting Written Strategies

VC has been playing the violin since the age of eight, attending formal music tuition at a private music school, once a week for half-hour lessons with a violin teacher. He is about to take his Grade 7 ABRSM violin examination. He has to learn three pieces selected from a syllabus, play scales and arpeggios sight-read and be

tested in his aural skills. He has purchased all the necessary examination publications including a CD of the examination pieces which he tries to imitate as closely as possible, playing from the score. VC has little performing experience outside his weekly lessons and practices on his own. He has no experience of playing in an orchestra but has occasionally performed in school concerts. His only regular experience of playing with other musicians is his teacher who accompanies him on the piano during lessons. He is a good reader, enjoys learning the violin and is a musical person, scoring well in his past six ABRSM violin examinations. He expresses his appreciation to his mother (whom he says 'could not afford music lessons during her younger days') for providing him a 'music education' which he says has 'helped his academic studies'. For entertainment, he prefers listening to pop music on his i-phone.

Case Study 2 : Adopting Oral Strategies

RZ has played the rebab for five years, since the age of thirteen. He does not attend formal music lessons and plays by ear. His musical experience is rich as he has attended numerous community music performances since young when he lived in a village ('kampung') in Kelantan. It was only during his teenage years that he was 'taught' by his father who played the rebab for the village 'Mak Yong' theatre. Like his father, RZ does not read music. He often listened to the rebab 'matching' the tonal inflections of the singer, supported by drums and colotomic gong punctuations. The ensemble would then perform with the 'Mak Yong' dancers. His father made him a rebab, recognising his son's increasing interest and innate musicality, 'so that he can carry on the family tradition to lead the ensemble', reflects RZ. He recalls learning by listening and watching his father's finger movement - 'kinaesthetic fingering sense must first be mastered', said his father. 'Lessons' included imitating short melodic figures again and again, memorising each phrase until the embellishments / decorations ('bercembur','bunga bunga') of the melody of one piece were firmly grasped and internalised. Correct bowing techniques on the three strings was a prerequisite to good rebab tone and pitching, all learnt by intricate listening, memorising and reproducing. 'The rebab is the closest instrument to the human voice- that is why you need to find the pitching so that you can properly match the vocalist- then you feel the rhythm by listening to the drums ('gendang ibu', 'gendang anak') and you watch the movement of the dancers with all eyes and ears, master the piece and you will master the rebab', RZ quoting his father'.

By comparing these two scenarios, one can distinguish fundamental differences in which music is learnt, experienced and expressed. Whilst it is not possible to generalise from these two case examples, clearly, there are substantive (but not necessarily conflicting) differences in the manner of musical acquisition between these two schools of study. I shall briefly summarise my position.

5.1 Learning and playing: written strategies vs oral-aural strategies

The fundamental approach to music learning and playing between Western and non-Western music may be viewed as a focus on written strategies as opposed to oral (and aural) strategies.

Reading music notation and ear playing are two skills often cast as opposite approaches to music making but evidence suggests that they actually are related (Ockelford, 2007; Woody & Lehman 2010; McPherson & Gabrielsson, 2002; Gordon, 2003; Suzuki 1986). However, providing students with ample ear playing experience prior to introducing them to notation has yet to become the norm in formal Western classical instrumental teaching and the reverse is true in non-Western traditional instrumental teaching.

Theoretical models of mental representations in music performance have identified three requisite cognitive skills namely, goal imaging, motor production and self-monitoring. A musician's goal image guides performance, whether the image is built from the visual cues of printed notation (as in sight-reading) or from musical information stored in memory (as in playing by ear) (Lehmann and Ericsson, 1997;Lehmann & Davidson, 2002; Woody, 2003).

Both the written and oral-aural strategies for music learning have similar goals in striving for performance excellence but the approach to such goals take a different point of embarkation and pursue different paths.

Lilliestam (1996) established that playing by ear or from notation are just different musical behaviours and practices, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Therefore, orality and literacy should not be viewed as a dichotomy between two conditions but rather as a continuum where cultures have different types and notions of literacy that serve distinct purposes.

5.2 Learning intentionality: individualism vs collectivism

The intentionality of learning between Western and non-Western music may be viewed as a difference between individualism versus collectivism in musical purpose and practice. Learning music through private music tuition, is a way of learning that takes place at the individual level in which the student develops from novice to expert as a result of a sequenced exposure to teaching and learning materials. In this case, the training is task based, goal-oriented and the student experiences drills and instructions drawn from a syllabus. Musical and technical ability is explicitly demonstrated to an external assessor. The intentionality of the student (through the teacher) is directed towards learning how to play the instrument by dividing musical components into separate units such as scales, aural and sight-reading. Genre-specific repertoire is selected based on intended technical (and musical) ability. Here, playing in a group, such as an orchestra, is an expression and outcome of individualised training.

Non-Western musical practice is often embodied in cultural practices where the intentionality of learning is music making per se. Unconscious (or implicit) situated music learning occurs as a result of observation, listening and active participation. Traditional music is often performed with a social function serving its community, such as rituals and praise songs in which its repertoire is passed orally from generation to generation. Since there is no written culture, such a method of musical transmission has resulted in a musical framework that is fluid, without specifically defined musical content (as in a precise score) and often relying on what I term as 'ear-based' tuning, in contrast with Western art music which relies on a well-defined musical system and tempered tuning. Tzanetakis et al. (2006) posited that Western music, with its notion of a composition as a well-defined work, is differentiated from non-Western music where the boundaries between composition, improvization and performance are more blurred and factors of cultural context are to be taken into account.

Traditional music comes forward from an oral culture where one piece can be handed down from dozens of local musicians, resulting in plural versions of the same work and often infused with personal influences and interpretive authenticity. Such flexibilities must surely have a significant impact on learners of 'oral-repertoire'.

Additionally, as in the case of the rebab student, the transition into 'formal learning' (in the sense of taking apprenticeship under a mentor or 'guru'- in this case, his father) may occur only after several years of informal learning whereby the intention of the activity is not to learn about music, but simply to listen to music, enjoy music or 'observe' music in movement (Folkstead 1998, Green 2001). Ziehe (1982/1986) prefers to see the distinction in learning as 'how' rather than 'where' learning takes place, referring to the difference as 'common' and 'uncommon' learning processes, the former being conscious efforts in learning and the latter, representing learning that takes place without the person necessarily being aware of it. Therefore, socialisation acts as a form of contextualised learning within a specific musical practice whereby the learning path is 'hidden' or implicit in the process of acculturation. Peculiar ways of playing, articulating, accompanying and expressing musical inflections are passed from one musical group to another, creating unique musical intentionality -individualistically and collectively.

5.3 Learning by listening: cognitive-affective interplay

Learning to play an instrument necessitates intense listening, which is in turn influenced by other factors such as the listeners' attitudes, preferences, personality, motivation and prior knowledge (North and Hargreaves, 1997). However, less is known of the neural dynamics of top-down listening modes and affective liking judgments. Brattico (2010) studied the dissociation between neural processes occurring during affective vs. cognitive listening modes and judgments of music, positing the existence of distinct neural structures underlying

cognitive-affective modes and judgments while listening to music. The study found that the role of the right-hemisphere for the generation of the late potentials elicited by musical sounds was predominant, regardless of the listening strategies adopted. This observation is in line with the music neuro-scientific literature showing the stronger contribution of the right hemisphere for cognitive processing in aspects such as pitch changes in melodies (Zatorre et al., 1994), harmony in cadences (Tillmann et al., 2003), and passive listening to melodies (Patterson et al.,2002), further pointing to initial close connection between sensory, cognitive and evaluative neural processes. However, at very late latencies following the end of the musical stimulus, the neural processes underlying liking and correctness judgments diverged, hinting at affective strategies employed for liking decisions and memory integration (Jacobsen and Höfel, 2003; Scherer, 2004).

Music affects emotion through different mechanisms such as brain stem reflexes, episodic memory, visual imagery, musical expectancy, emotional contagion, and cognitive appraisal (Juslin & Västfjäll, 2008; Juslin & Sloboda, 2001). The appraisal theory of emotion claims that emotions emerge from the cognition evaluation of the emotion eliciting event and that evaluation processes and appraisals are subject to social influences (Manstead & Fisher 2011; Aron, Wilson & Akert 2010). This position is particularly true in the study, practice and assessment of non-Western music. Such disparities between learning by reading music notation and learning-by-ear must surely have significant impact on the way in which music is studied, taught and internalised by different segments of society and cultural groups.

6. Model and Conclusion

Discourse on the different ways of learning and performing Western and non-Western music is fraught with challenges and multiple viewpoints (Ross, 2011). Research is lacking in this field of investigation. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly clear differences in the learning approaches and strategies adopted by performers of Western music and traditional music. To consolidate the arguments presented, a model illustrating the different learning strategies was created (Figure 2).

Learning by Reading (notation)


Learning by Listening (aural-oral tradition)




Assessment of Learning-Reading (by Performance) Valerie Ross {2012)


Assessment of Learning-Listening (through Performance)

Figure 2: Music Learning Strategies

In conclusion, the study argued that the embodiment of music learning experiences between the Western and non-Western schools of learning and performing may be viewed from three positions. Firstly, the learning and performance of Western art music stem primarily from training through written strategies (reading and writing music notation) as opposed to the oral-aural strategies adopted by performers of traditional music. Secondly, the intentionality of learning may be viewed as a difference in individualism verses collectivism whereby the purpose and product of the 'performance-act' plays a major role in the manner in which music is learnt, practiced and socialised. Finally, learning by reading and by listening engages different levels of cognitive-affective interplay in brain plasticity. Much has still to be learnt from further studies on the effects of musical training in enhancing human cognition as each school of thought embraces its own strategy in presenting and preserving the science of musical learning, performance and understanding.


ABRSM (2011). Graded Music Exam Syllabus, ABRSM Publishing.

ABRSM (2011). 'Statistics of Examination Candidates', Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, published online (retrieved 20.8.11). Aronson, E., Wilson, T. & Akert, R. (2010). Social Psychology, Pearson.

ASWARA (2011). 'Prospectus', National Academy of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Malaysia. Becker, J. (2004). Deep listeners: music, emotion and trancing. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge University Press.

Boys Town National Research Hospital (2011). The Normal Ear. Http: (retrieved 24.8.11).

Brattico, E., Jacobsen, T., De Baene, W., Glerean, E. & Tervaniemi, M. (2010). Cognitive vs. affective listening modes and judgments of

music - An ERP study, Biological Psychology 85, 393-409. Dobbs, J. and Kartomi, M. (2011). 'Rabab: Spike fiddles: South-east Asia', Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy, (retrieved 24.8.11).

Edelman, G. (1992), Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind, Basic Books.

Folkestad, G. (2006). Formal and informal learning situations or practices vs formal and informal ways of learning, British Journal of Music Education, 23:2, 135-145.

Folkestad, G. (1998) 'Musical learning as cultural practice. As exemplified in computer-based creative music making', In B. Sundin, G.

McPherson & G. Folkestad (Eds), Children Composing, Lund University, Malmo Academy of Music. Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof (2004). 'Mak Yong as ritual' The Encyclopedia of Malaysia. Vol 8 : Performing Arts. Gordon, E. (2003). Learning sequences in music. Chicago, IL: GIA.

Green, L. (2001). How Popular Musicians Learn. A Way Ahead for Music Education. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Jacobsen, T., Höfel, L. (2003). Descriptive and evaluative judgment processes: behavioural and electrophysiological indices of processing symmetry and aesthetics. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 3, 289-299. Juslin, P. & Sloboda, J. Ed. (2001). Handbook of Music and Emotion. Oxford University Press.

Juslin, P. and Västfjäll , D. (2008). Emotional responses to music: The need to consider underlying mechanisms, Behavioral and Brain

Sciences, 31: 559-575, Cambridge University Press. Lehmann, A. C., & Davidson, J. W. (2002). Taking an acquired skills perspective on music performance. In R. Colwell & C. Richardson

(Eds.), The new handbook of research on music teaching and learning (pp. 542-560). New York: Oxford University Press. Lehmann, A. C., & Ericsson, K. A. (1996). Performance without preparation: Structure and acquisition of expert sight-reading and

accompanying performance. Psychomusicology, 15, 1-29. Lilliestam, L. (1996). 'On playing by ear'. Popular Music, 15, 2, 195-216

Manstead, A. S. R., & Fischer, A. H. (2001). Social appraisal: The social world as object of and influence on appraisal processes. In K. R. Scherer, A. Schorr, & T. Johnstone, (Eds.), Appraisal processes in emotion: Theory, methods, research (pp. 221-232). New York: Oxford University Press. Matusky, P. & Tan, S.B. (2004). The Music of Malaysia: Classical, Folk and Syncretic Traditions. Asgate.

McPherson, G. E., & Gabrielsson, A. (2002). From sound to sign. In R. Parncutt & G. E. McPherson (Eds.), The science and psychology of

music performance: Creative strategies for teaching and learning (pp. 99-115). New York: Oxford University Press. Mohd Anis Md Nor (2005). 'Dance of the Menghadap Rebab: Reinventing Time and Space in Contemporary Makyong Dance Theatre of Malaysia', in Time and Space in Asian Context: Contemporary Dance in Asia. Kolkata: World Dance Alliance West Bengal, pp. 38-54.

North, A.C., Hargreaves, D.J., (1997a). Experimental aesthetics and everyday music listening. In: Hargreaves, D.J., North, A.C. (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Music. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford, pp. 84-103.

North, A.C., Hargreaves, D.J., (1997b). Liking, arousal potential, and the emotions expressed by music. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 38, 45-53.

Ockelford, A. (2007). A music module in working memory? Evidence from the performance of a prodigious musical savant. Musicae Scientiae, Special Edition on Performance, 5-36.

Oxford, R. (1990). Language Learning Strategies, Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human andAnimal Emotions, Oxford University Press.

Patterson, R.D., Uppenkamp, S., Johnsrude, I.S., & Griffiths, T.D., (2002). The processing of temporal pitch and melody information in auditory cortex. Neuron 36, 767-776.

Ross, V. (2006). 'External Music Examinations: Social and Symbolic Significance, Proceedings, 27 International Society for Music Education World Music Conference, 16-21 July 2006, Kuala Lumpur, ISBN 0-9752063-6-2.

Ross,V. (2009). External music examiners : micro-macro tasks in quality assurance, Journal of Music Education Research, London: Routledge, 2009. Vol. 11 No.4, pp. 473-484.

Ross, V. (2011). Challenges faced by performers of Cross Cultural Music, Performance Studies Network International Conference. University of Cambridge, 14-17 July 2011 (available online:

Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in social context. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rogoff, B. (1998). 'Cognition as a collaborative process'. In D. Kuhn & R. S. Siegler (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology, Vol. 2: Cognition, perception, and language (5th ed., pp. 679-744). New York: Wiley.

Rost, M. (2002). Teaching and researching listening. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Sawyer, K. (2007). Learning music from collaboration, International Journal of Educational Research 47 (2008) 50-59.

Scherer, K.R., (2004). Which emotions can be induced by music? What are the underlying mechanisms? And how can we measure them? Journal of New Music Research 33, 239-251.

Suzuki, S. (1986). Nurtured by love: The classic approach to talent education (2nd Ed) Miami FL: Suzuki Method International.

Tillmann, B., Janata, P., & Bharucha, J.J., (2003). Activation of the inferior frontal cortex in musical priming. Cognitive Brain Research 16, 145-161.

Tzanetakis, G., Kapur, A., Schloss, A., & Wright, M. (2006). Computational ethnomusicology, Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies 1 (2) (2006) 1-24.

UNESCO (2011). 'Intangible Heritage List', United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Woody, R. H. (2003). Explaining expressive performance: Component cognitive skills in an aural modeling task. Journal of Research in Music Education, 51, 51-63.

Woody, R. & Lehmann, A. (2010). Student Musicians' Ear-Playing Ability as a Function of Vernacular Music Experiences, Journal of Research in Music Education 2010 58: 101.

Zatorre, R., Evans, A.C., & Meyer, E., (1994). Neural mechanisms underlying melodic perception and memory for pitch. Journal of Neuroscience 14, 1908-1919.

Ziehe, T. (1986). Ny ungdom. Om ovanliga l'aroprocesser [New youth. On uncommon learning processes]. Stockholm: Norstedts.

Valerie Ross is an established composer and researcher. She has received compositional awards from the Commonwealth Foundation, Japan Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation. Dr Ross is an Associate Professor of Music at Universiti Teknologi MARA and a By-Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge.