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The performer’s experience: psychological, philosophical and educational perspectives

Holmes, P.A. (2011). The performer’s experience: psychological, philosophical and educational perspectives. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This portfolio represents a body of original research into components of elite erformance that had hitherto not been investigated. There are three main categories of focus. New perspectives on learning and memorisation, and also expressive use of timbre in elite performance are offered. Additionally, a substantial body of work is concerned with investigating whether certain psychological characteristics may figure as determinants of the ability to perform at elite level. The submission is strengthened by collaboration with other disciplines - predominantly sports psychology and psychoacoustics, but latterly, also with education and philosophy. The purpose of this Critical Analysis is to specify originality and coherence within the portfolio and to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. The contemporary relevance of the work, in all but the most recent paper, is shown by consideration of ideas suggested by the findings, in the context of subsequent research. In the interests of on-going research in a similar area, for the most recent paper, perspectives that further develop the most interesting emergent themes are offered. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies are critically evaluated in relation to the studies undertaken and limitations are acknowledged. Reference to recent developments in research techniques and processes provides some insight into potential refinement of the chosen research methods that might inform future similar research.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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