Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Life
Open Access
Sign In

Exploring effective memorisation methods for advanced pianists——A systematic literature review

Download as PDF

DOI: 10.23977/artpl.2022.030411 | Downloads: 5 | Views: 88


Hiutung Chun 1


1 School of Music, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom

Corresponding Author

Hiutung Chun


Pianists' performance sometimes last at least fifty minutes and produce more than a thousand notes per minute, so the memory demands of pianists are extremely high during piano performance, a core feature of a soloist's professional competence is the ability to play without the score in concert. Performers play from memory can show their professional ability and a pianist can perform better only if he or she has excelled in memorizing the score. In order to improve pupils' ability in memory, this literature review focuses on exploring effective memorisation methods for advanced pianists in content-addressable, performance cues, motor, visual, and auditory aspects. 


Memorisation methods; Advanced pianists; Content-addressable memory; Performance cues; Motor memory; Visual memory; Auditory memory


Hiutung Chun, Exploring effective memorisation methods for advanced pianists——A systematic literature review. Art and Performance Letters (2022) Vol. 3: 54-60. DOI:


[1] Ginsborg, J. (2004). Strategies for memorising music. In A. Williamon (Ed.), Musical excellence: Strategies and techniques to enhance performance (pp. 123-142). Oxford University Press.
[2] Chaffin, R. & Imreh, G. (1997). ‘Pulling teeth and torture’: Musical memory and problem solving. Thinking and Reasoning, 3(4), 315-336. 135467897394310
[3] Chaffin, R. Logan, T. R., & Begosh, K. T. (2009). Performing from memory. In S. Hallam, I. Cross, & M. Thaut (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of music psychology (1st Ed.) (pp. 352-363). Oxford University Press. 
[4] Mishra, J. (2010). A century of memorization pedagogy. Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, 32(1), 3-18.
[5] Gerling, C. C., & Dos Santos, R. A. T. (2017). How do undergraduate piano students memorize their repertoires? International Journal of Music Education, 35(1), 60-78.
[6] Imreh, G., & Chaffin, R. (1996). Understanding and developing musical memory: The views of a concert pianist and a cognitive psychologist. American Music Teacher, 46(3), 20-67.
[7] Hansen, J. L. (2013). Memorising music for solo piano performance: A theoretical framework. [Master Thesis, University of Oslo]. NORA-Norwegian Open Research Archives. 
[8] Chaffin, R. & Imreh, G. (2002). Practicing perfection: Piano performance as expert memory. Psychological Science, 13(4), 342-349.
[9] Dickinson, S. (2009). A multi-Level approach to more secure memorization. College Music Symposium, 49(50), 271-283.
[10] Street, E. (1987). Bridging the gap between sight reading and memorizing. American Music Teacher, 37(2), 32-33.
[11] Nellons, C. E. (1974). An experimental investigation of the effect of blocking on the memorization of selected piano literature. [PhD dissertation, University of Oklahoma]. SHAREOK Repository. 
[12] Dube, F. (2003). Pianists; four kinds of memory. La Scena Musicale, 9(3), 28-29. 
[13] Sapiro, D. J. (2012). 'You Hum It, I'll Play It!' The role of memory in playing the piano by ear. [PhD thesis, University of Leeds]. White Rose eTheses Online.

All published work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2016 - 2031 Clausius Scientific Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.