Six types of eye movement were measured and recorded with an SRI Eyetracker: number of progressive and regressive fixations, durations of progressive and regressive fixations and lengths of progressive and regressive saccades. Twenty-four graduate music students were selected as skilled and less- skilled music readers. Eye position was measured every millisecond with a high degree of accuracy. The factorial design was 2 Groups x 4 Melodies x 3 Encounters (including a practice period). Results indicated that patterns of eye movement in the two groups were similar across melodies and encounters, but differed with notational complexity. Eye movement was reduced when performing melodies with more-concentrated visual information than when performing melodies with less- concentrated visual information. The main effect of encounters indicated that music readers used fewer but longer fixations after practicing the melodies. Results suggest that skilled music readers look farther ahead in the notation, and then back to the point of performance, when sightreading.
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Research Article| October 01 1994
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Thomas W. Goolsby; Eye Movement in Music Reading: Effects of Reading Ability, Notational Complexity, and Encounters. Music Perception 1 October 1994; 12 (1): 77–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/40285756
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