Throughout her long and distinguished career, Jeanne Bamberger conducted countless case studies analysing musical development and creativity within the classroom environment (the results of which were published over the years throughout a range of important scientific journals). Discovering the musical mind draws together in one source these classic studies, and offers the chance to revisit and reconsider some of the conclusions she drew at the time. Reviewing the data in light of current theories of cognitive development, she discusses how some of the conclusions she drew stand up to scrutiny, whilst in other cases, anomalies she noted at the time might actually have been of greater significance than the more predictable data from which she drew her conclusions.
The book is a collection of Bamberger's papers from 1970 to 2010. It includes her first study of Beethoven's original fingerings, her beginning work with children's invented notations, close observations and analysis of children in the Laboratory for Making Things, studies of musically gifted children, and the emergent musical development of students in elementary-secondary school and university undergraduate and graduate studies. The observations and research lead to the development of an interactive computer music environment based on and contributing to her pragmatic theory of musical development as a generative process of learning. Unlike other collections, the book is clearly interdisciplinary and strongly practical. It brings together and integrates music theory, research in music perception and music education, performance, cognitive development, artificial intelligence, and procedural composition. Her multi-faceted approach to music theory and music pedagogy is guided throughout by Bamberger's commitment to an understanding and respect for an individual's natural, creative musical intelligence. This natural competence becomes the formative ground on which to help people of all ages build an ever growing engagement and fascination with the myriad, evolving organic structures of the world's music.
Bringing together a body of research currently scattered across a range of journals, or simply no longer available, the book will make fascinating reading for those in the fields of developmental, music, and educational psychology.