A study of memorization

Here’s a link to a doctoral thesis by Chenyin Li, a classical pianist. She’s clearly at a level way beyond most of us here, but for an academic paper it’s a pretty easy read. Some of you might find it useful (or at least interesting). In her abstract she briefly outlines the study:

After a discussion of issues concerned with psychological memory and music cognitive memory, the dissertation outlines a memory technique, here labelled MM, which draws on the use of music mnemonics. The technique is intended to help pianists retrieve relevant information as quickly and effectively as possible during the performance, therefore avoiding or minimising mistakes. Various types of music mnemonics which the author has herself used are identified. Following this is an account of a project undertaken by the author which involved the examination of the memorisation techniques of five professional pianists while learning two contrasting pieces. The extent to which they applied the MM technique, and the specific mnemonics described in the dissertation thus far, is examined closely. So is the effectiveness of the various mnemonics in dealing with very varied repertoires.

At any rate, here is the link:

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