Temporal and sequential components of the eye movement used by a skilled and a less-skilled sightreader were used to construct six profiles of processing. Each subject read three melodies of varying levels of concentration of visual detail. The profiles indicates the order, duration, and location of each fixation while the subjects sightread the melodies. Results indicate that music readers do not fixate on note stems or the bar lines that connect eighth notes when sightreading. The less-skilled music reader progressed through the melody virtually note-by-note using long fixations, whereas the skilled sightreader directed fixations to all areas of the notation (using more regressions than the less-skilled reader) to perform the music accurately. Results support earlier findings that skilled sightreaders look farther ahead in the notation, then back to the point of performance (Goolsby, 1994), and have a larger perceptual span than less-skilled sightreaders. Findings support Slobodans (1984) contention that music reading (i. e., sightreading) is indeed music perception, because music notation is processed before performance. Support was found for Sloboda's (1977, 1984, 1985, 1988) hypotheses on the effects of physical and structural boundaries on visual musical perception. The profiles indicate a number of differences between music perception from processing visual notation and perception resulting from language reading. These differences include: (1) opposite trends in the control of eye movement (i. e., the better music reader fixates in blank areas of the visual stimuli and not directly on each item of the information that was performed), (2) a perceptual span that is vertical as well as horizontal, (3) more eye movement associated with the better reader, and (4) greater attention used for processing language than for music, although the latter task requires an "exact realization."

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