Performers occupy a special role within contemporary Western musical culture. Since two individuals can produce markedly different responses by playing the same notes, it is clear that notation fails to capture some of the most critical dimensions of musical communication. What are these dimensions? What does it take to acquire the kind of expertise in manipulating them that top-notch performers possess? How do listeners perceive and respond to them? “The psychology of music performance” tries to understand this expressive power. It considers expressivity in performance as well as its mechanics, the way that practice shapes performance, listener responses to performer choices, and the processes of creativity and improvisation.