Commentary on Kopiez, Wolf, and Platz: The impact of playing from memory on performance evaluation

Bruno Gingras


Kopiez et al. (this volume) empirically investigated the effect of playing from memory (more specifically, playing with a conspicuously visible music stand) on the evaluation of audiovisual recordings of solo instrumental performances. Their study, a replication of Williamon (1999), corroborates the finding that the presence of a music stand has a small but significant negative effect on performance evaluations. In this commentary, I present some possible explanations for this effect and discuss relevant implications for future research and for professional performers. I also provide some suggestions for improving the experimental design, such as using a better measure of musical sophistication, controlling for the potential visual distractor effect of the music stand, and developing a more comprehensive and statistically robust scale for evaluating performances.


performance; memory; impression management; musical sophistication

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Bruno Gingras

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Beginning with Volume 7, No 3-4 (2012), Empirical Musicology Review is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license

Empirical Musicology Review is published by The Ohio State University Libraries.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Terri Fizer.

ISSN: 1559-5749