Prodigies of music composition: Cognitive abilities and developmental antecedents

Lena Quinto, Paolo Ammirante, Michael H. Connors, William Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Music is intimately connected with the experience of rhythmic movement. This unique relation between music and movement depends on a complex set of timing skills that are developed throughout childhood. However, extraordinary cases of rhythmic prodigies seem to challenge our understanding of the normal course of motor development. This chapter examines the existing literature on timing skills in order to identify some milestones in the development of timing skills that are essential for the production of accurate rhythmic movements. We consider the importance of formal music training and weekly practice for the development of timing skills involved in discrete and continuous rhythmic movements, and we describe a preliminary study in which we compare the timing skills of a prodigy musician with those of age-matched musicians and nonmusicians.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMusical Prodigies: Interpretations from Psychology, Education, Musicology, and Ethnomusicology
EditorsGary E. McPherson
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191806049
ISBN (Print)9780199685851
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Prodigies of music composition: Cognitive abilities and developmental antecedents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this