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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Music has played a pivotal role in the development of the theory of expert performance with much of the foundational research conducted with musical experts. This chapter explores the role music played in the development of the theory and issues arising from the original research that have not yet been fully addressed. The definitions of musical expertise and deliberate practice in music are explored. Because the musical field has not adopted a consistent definition of expertise, operational definitions in the research can be somewhat inconsistent. A preliminary hierarchical system is proposed. The chapter concludes with consideration of other variables, such as genetics, that could interact with deliberate practice to develop expertise in the musical domain. Current thinking is that deliberate practice is important, but insufficient to explain expertise. The development of musical experts may be more complex than either the amount of deliberate practice or genetics can explain.

Keywords: musical expertise, deliberate practice, musical practice, talent, musical performance, Western classical music, formal instruction, musical practice strategies

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