Sight-reading is an important part of professional musicianship, and to be able to imagine the sound in advance of playing is a necessity for good phrasing and intonation. The connection between sign and sound is trained in sight-singing as a part of aural skills, but to many students, this may be quite difficult, and not corresponding to their instrumental level. It seems as if there is a missing link in the way we learn music - compared to text reading, where the sign immediately gives an impression of the sound.
Learning the language of music mostly happens through playing an instrument, with quite much focus on the technical mastering of the instrument. In this process, the written notes might be seen merely as a sign of where to put the fingers on the instrument, rather than being perceived as symbols of sounds.
This one-way access to the music is not adequate for a professional musician, and to achieve an all-round mastering of the musical language, you have to work equally with reading, listening, playing and singing.
To help the student to develop all these skills, I have written the textbook SNAPSHOT – An Introduction to Sight-Reading, which consists of a large number of short exercises and examples from classical, tonal music.
(Inge Bjarke is the author of three textbooks: Musikkens Grundbegreber (“The Fundamental Concepts of Music”) (MUFO 1991); Rytmer med Toner (“Rhythms with Tones”) (MUFO 1994); SNAPSHOT- An Introduction to Sight-Reading (MUFO 2009, English version 2011)