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Art in Motion

Musical and Athletic Motor Learning and Performance

Edited By Adina Mornell

Musicians tend to believe that the mystery of their art cannot be objectively studied, quantified, or explained. As a result, the term «motor learning» is rarely used in connection with musicians, and an empirical approach to musical performance is more the exception than the rule. Sports scientists, however, show a great interest in musicians because of their advanced skill level and the attentional and emotional demands of the concert stage. This work combines knowledge across disciplines. Advances toward an understanding of human behavior and cognition offer clues to strategies of motor learning and performance that promote the well-being of musicians and athletes. This book provides a forum for an interdisciplinary exchange of research, laying the groundwork for future projects.


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During the last few years, a new discourse has come into being on the university scene in Europe. This discourse, distinct from conventional scientific research, increasingly appreciates artistic works and reflects an independent path of understanding, and consequently, broadens the definition of what research stands for. The definition process, however, is far from complete. Catchwords such as “artistic research,” “practice- based art research,” “practice as research,” “art as research,” or “research/ creation” are topical in current discussions. The Austrian legislature has identified this kind of research, known as the “development and unfolding of the arts,” as a key mission of Austrian universities of the arts, and has put it on a level equal to traditional scientific research. Even national advancement institutions such as the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) have responded to this development and are currently preparing special advancement programs for artistic research. However, what is “artistic research?” Even though the meaning of this or of other terms in use has not been precisely defined, the main characteristics can still be outlined. These days it becomes evident that many artistic activities share some structural similarities with scientific research, and integrate their results into the conceptualization of works of art and the development of new forms of art. This form of artistic activities is less work-oriented but focuses on the processes of creation of art. As proof of this concept, the work of art itself, be it a concert, a stage production, or...

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