"Sight-reading" refers to the ability to read and perform music on the spot without prior study or familiarity with the sheet music. This skill requires musicians to quickly interpret the notation, understand the notes, rhythms, pitches, and instantly translate them into performance.
In sight-reading, musicians need to rapidly scan from one note to another on the sheet music while comprehending the relationships between rhythms and notes. This requires proficient visual recognition, a sense of rhythm, and musical knowledge to play the piece accurately and in real-time.
The purpose of sight-reading is to be able to perform a musical piece at sight during the first reading, without the need for prior practice or preparation. It is crucial for musicians when encountering new music in performances or rehearsals and is an essential skill assessed in music exams and competitions.
To improve sight-reading skills, musicians need to practice extensively and gain experience to sharpen their visual and musical perception. Through consistent practice, musicians can enhance their sensitivity to musical elements, develop the ability to read sheet music quickly, and maintain fluency and accuracy in performance.