Music performance as knowledge acquisition: a review and preliminary conceptual framework

Mark Reybrouck, Andrea Schiavio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


To what extent does playing a musical instrument contribute to an individual's construction of knowledge? This paper aims to address this question by examining music performance from an embodied perspective and offering a narrative-style review of the main literature on the topic. Drawing from both older theoretical frameworks on motor learning and more recent theories on sensorimotor coupling and integration, this paper seeks to challenge and juxtapose established ideas with contemporary views inspired by recent work on embodied cognitive science. By doing so we advocate a centripetal approach to music performance, contrasting the prevalent centrifugal perspective: the sounds produced during performance not only originate from bodily action (centrifugal), but also cyclically return to it (centripetal). This perspective suggests that playing music involves a dynamic integration of both external and internal factors, transcending mere output-oriented actions and revealing music performance as a form of knowledge acquisition based on real-time sensorimotor experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1331806
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2024

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© 2024 Reybrouck and Schiavio.

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