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Playing with the beat: A process-oriented approach to studying sensorimotor synchronization in early childhood

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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Companion to Embodied Music Interaction on 20/04/2017, available online: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Embodied-Music-Interaction/Lesaffre-Maes-Leman/p/book/9781138657403

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.43 MB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Embodied Music Interaction
EditorsM Lessafre, Marc Leman, P-J Maes
ISBN (Print)9781138657403
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2017


This chapter focuses on sensorimotor synchronization (SMS) in early childhood. After a brief review of recent embodied accounts of music cognition, we outline two approaches in SMS research: the more common outcome-oriented approach that measures accuracy of children’s behaviour and the process oriented approach which explores the type and variety of spontaneous rhythmic responses. Building on a body-as-constraint perspective, we argue that the latter approach can provide insights into how a developing child freely chooses to dynamically interact with the beat and thus self-regulate their unique perceptual experience. A new, process-oriented method called Ana’s Game is then described, with illustrative examples.

    Research areas

  • children, embodied cognition, music, beat, groove, SMS

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