In The Mind behind the Musical Ear, Jeanne Bamberger focuses on the earliest stages in the development of musical cognition. Beginning with children’s invention of original rhythm notations, she follows eight-year-old Jeff as he reconstructs and invents descriptions of simple melodies. In a running commentary on Jeff’s discoveries and a series of dialogues between herself and two imaginary college students who take different approaches to music, Bamberger reflects on the thinking strategies that guide Jeff at various moments in his musical development.
Makes intriguing reading for anyone who has puzzled over the mechanism by which young children learn tunes.
[This book] will undoubtedly become required reading for all those concerned with, or undergoing, training in music education.
This book is absolutely unique. The combination of musical insight and psychological thought far outshines anything I have read bearing on the psychology of aesthetic experience.
I know of no other work that investigates the musical development of children in so imaginative, analytical, coherent, or, to put it bluntly, lovingly detailed a way.
Jeanne Bamberger is Professor of Music at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.