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Playing music is one of the most complex sequential behaviors people are capable of producing. Musicians often perform those complex musical sequences by heart. Previous research established that motor memory plays a crucial role in memorizing musical sequences. However, no research has addressed the differences in motor memory between instruments with different movement characteristics. The present study aims to investigate the role of the different characteristics of the movement executed while playing and its effect on the motor memory. Study 1 examines the differences in a musical sequence recall performance between string and brass players, showing that string players exhibit better performance on sequence recall than brass payers. Study 2 looks at how extent and variety of movements affect the sequence recall, expecting limited variety of the movement to impair performance while no significant effect of the extent of the movement. Those results suggest that the functioning of motor memory is affected by only certain movement characteristics. In music, it means that the motor memory functions better for instruments with wide variety than for instruments with restricted variety of movements and therefore the ease with which the players memorize the pieces varies across the instruments.
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Mojzesova, Veronika, "The Differences in Motor Memory in Music Performance Based on the Movement Characteristics of the Musical Instruments" (2015). Senior Projects Fall 2015. 49.
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