Music performance anxiety has been investigated either as a discrete phenomenon, or as a variant of social phobia. This study examined the theoretical adequacy of establishing music performance anxiety as a subtype of social phobia, using Rapee and Heimberg's (1997) model of anxiety in social-evaluative situations to account for the cognitions experienced by anxious individuals in solo musical performances. Similarities between the two phenomena in terms of important cognitive processes were revealed in a sample of 84 musicians. The two cognitive constructs in the model deemed to be critical to social phobia were also the only two constructs predicting music performance anxiety. It is concluded that social phobic models may provide a valid account of the cognitive processes occurring in music performance anxiety. These results are combined with additional epidemiological and etiological information in a cognitive conceptualisation of music performance anxiety.