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Rehearsal talk: Familiarity and expertise in singer-pianist duos

Ginsborg, Jane; King, Elaine


Jane Ginsborg


The cognitive and social processes underlying musical and social collaboration were explored in a small-scale study of two professional and two student singer-pianist duos. Each of the eight participants rehearsed one song with his or her regular partner and a second song with a new partner of the same level of expertise; four participants rehearsed a third song with a new partner of the other level of expertise. Their talk during rehearsal was analysed to determine a) numbers and initiators of verbal exchanges, b) interactional style, c) musical dimensions, and d) rehearsal strategies. The professional duos rehearsed more efficiently, in that they talked less and sang/played more. Interactional style was overwhelmingly positive. Students were more likely than professionals to show solidarity and ask for orientation, while professionals were more likely to give and ask for opinions. Basic, interpretive and expressive musical features were found to be as salient in these single rehearsals as evidenced in earlier research investigating protracted rehearsal periods; the present study also identified a range of rehearsal strategies, although the most common was working from the beginning to the end of the song. In conclusion we make some brief suggestions for performers. © The Author(s) 2012.


Ginsborg, J., & King, E. (2012). Rehearsal talk: Familiarity and expertise in singer-pianist duos. Musicae Scientiae, 16(2), 148-167.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 5, 2012
Publication Date Jul 1, 2012
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Musicae Scientiae
Print ISSN 1029-8649
Electronic ISSN 2045-4147
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 2
Pages 148-167
Keywords Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Music
Public URL
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