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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews what is known about the development of musical understanding between infancy and adulthood and critically examines research evidence relating to different aspects of music (pitch, rhythm, timbre, structure, and emotion) and to more general aspects of musical understanding as evidenced through real musical activities (singing, composing, and improvising). It then considers how development has been, and should be, approached from the perspective of music psychology and relates this to ongoing themes and trends in developmental psychology. The chapter emphasizes the importance of context and the lifespan approach to understanding development, and concludes with recommendations for future development of theory in the field.

Keywords: development, pitch, tonality, rhythm, timbre, form, structure, context, enculturation, training

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