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Musical novices perform with equal accuracy when learning to drum alone or with a peer

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  • Andrea Schiavio, University of Graz
  • ,
  • Jan Stupacher
  • Elli Xypolitaki, University of Sheffield
  • ,
  • Richard Parncutt, University of Graz
  • ,
  • Renee Timmers, University of Sheffield

The capacity of expert musicians to coordinate with each other when playing in ensembles or rehearsing has been widely investigated. However, little is known about the ability of novices to achieve satisfactory coordinated behaviour when making music together. We tested whether performance accuracy differs when novices play a newly learned drumming pattern with another musically untrained individual (duo group) or alone (solo group). A comparison between musical outcomes of the two groups revealed no significant differences concerning performative accuracy. An additional, exploratory examination of the degree of mutual influence between members of the duos suggested that they reciprocally affected each other when playing together. These findings indicate that a responsive auditory feedback involving surprises introduced by human errors could be part of pedagogical settings that employ repetition or imitation, thereby facilitating coordination among novices in a less prescribed fashion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12422
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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