Concept

Eye movement in music reading

Summary
Eye movement in music reading is the scanning of a musical score by a musician's eyes. This usually occurs as the music is read during performance, although musicians sometimes scan music silently to study it. The phenomenon has been studied by researchers from a range of backgrounds, including cognitive psychology and music education. These studies have typically reflected a curiosity among performing musicians about a central process in their craft, and a hope that investigating eye movement might help in the development of more effective methods of training musicians' sight reading skills. A central aspect of music reading is the sequence of alternating saccades and fixations, as it is for most oculomotor tasks. Saccades are the rapid ‘flicks’ that move the eyes from location to location over a music score. Saccades are separated from each other by fixations, during which the eyes are relatively stationary on the page. It is well established that the perception of visual informat
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