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Conductor gestures influence evaluations of ensemble performance.

Morrison SJ, Price HE, Smedley EM, Meals CD - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Previous research has found that listener evaluations of ensemble performances vary depending on the expressivity of the conductor's gestures, even when performances are otherwise identical.Results showed significantly higher evaluations for performances featuring high rather than low conducting expressivity regardless of the ensemble's performance quality.Evaluations for both articulation and dynamics were strongly and positively correlated with evaluations of overall ensemble expressivity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory for Music Cognition, Culture and Learning, School of Music, University of Washington Seattle, WA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Previous research has found that listener evaluations of ensemble performances vary depending on the expressivity of the conductor's gestures, even when performances are otherwise identical. It was the purpose of the present study to test whether this effect of visual information was evident in the evaluation of specific aspects of ensemble performance: articulation and dynamics. We constructed a set of 32 music performances that combined auditory and visual information and were designed to feature a high degree of contrast along one of two target characteristics: articulation and dynamics. We paired each of four music excerpts recorded by a chamber ensemble in both a high- and low-contrast condition with video of four conductors demonstrating high- and low-contrast gesture specifically appropriate to either articulation or dynamics. Using one of two equivalent test forms, college music majors and non-majors (N = 285) viewed sixteen 30 s performances and evaluated the quality of the ensemble's articulation, dynamics, technique, and tempo along with overall expressivity. Results showed significantly higher evaluations for performances featuring high rather than low conducting expressivity regardless of the ensemble's performance quality. Evaluations for both articulation and dynamics were strongly and positively correlated with evaluations of overall ensemble expressivity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Screenshot of conductor video.
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Figure 2: Screenshot of conductor video.

Mentions: For the video portion of the stimuli four graduate conducting students – two male and two female – were recruited to assist in the study. Each conductor was given scores and recordings of the four segments and provided with guidelines of high and low expressivity conducting (Byo and Austin, 1994). Using Flip HD and Zoom H3 camcorders, the conductors were video recorded conducting each excerpt synchronized with a purpose-recruited live ensemble (Figure 2). Similar to the original ensemble recordings, conductors were recorded for each of the four excerpts showing a high (C+) or low (C-) level of expressive gesture appropriate for the target characteristic, resulting in a total of eight video segments for each. Ensemble members changed position every two excerpts and conductors changed clothing for each segment to control for any performer-based environmental factors and to create the impression that performances were recorded by different ensembles at different rehearsal sessions. Researchers not familiar with the conductors and blind to the conditions – each an experienced university-level ensemble conductor – reviewed the completed video recordings to ascertain that there were clear contrasts between C+ and C- conducting conditions.


Conductor gestures influence evaluations of ensemble performance.

Morrison SJ, Price HE, Smedley EM, Meals CD - Front Psychol (2014)

Screenshot of conductor video.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4109431&req=5

Figure 2: Screenshot of conductor video.
Mentions: For the video portion of the stimuli four graduate conducting students – two male and two female – were recruited to assist in the study. Each conductor was given scores and recordings of the four segments and provided with guidelines of high and low expressivity conducting (Byo and Austin, 1994). Using Flip HD and Zoom H3 camcorders, the conductors were video recorded conducting each excerpt synchronized with a purpose-recruited live ensemble (Figure 2). Similar to the original ensemble recordings, conductors were recorded for each of the four excerpts showing a high (C+) or low (C-) level of expressive gesture appropriate for the target characteristic, resulting in a total of eight video segments for each. Ensemble members changed position every two excerpts and conductors changed clothing for each segment to control for any performer-based environmental factors and to create the impression that performances were recorded by different ensembles at different rehearsal sessions. Researchers not familiar with the conductors and blind to the conditions – each an experienced university-level ensemble conductor – reviewed the completed video recordings to ascertain that there were clear contrasts between C+ and C- conducting conditions.

Bottom Line: Previous research has found that listener evaluations of ensemble performances vary depending on the expressivity of the conductor's gestures, even when performances are otherwise identical.Results showed significantly higher evaluations for performances featuring high rather than low conducting expressivity regardless of the ensemble's performance quality.Evaluations for both articulation and dynamics were strongly and positively correlated with evaluations of overall ensemble expressivity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Laboratory for Music Cognition, Culture and Learning, School of Music, University of Washington Seattle, WA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Previous research has found that listener evaluations of ensemble performances vary depending on the expressivity of the conductor's gestures, even when performances are otherwise identical. It was the purpose of the present study to test whether this effect of visual information was evident in the evaluation of specific aspects of ensemble performance: articulation and dynamics. We constructed a set of 32 music performances that combined auditory and visual information and were designed to feature a high degree of contrast along one of two target characteristics: articulation and dynamics. We paired each of four music excerpts recorded by a chamber ensemble in both a high- and low-contrast condition with video of four conductors demonstrating high- and low-contrast gesture specifically appropriate to either articulation or dynamics. Using one of two equivalent test forms, college music majors and non-majors (N = 285) viewed sixteen 30 s performances and evaluated the quality of the ensemble's articulation, dynamics, technique, and tempo along with overall expressivity. Results showed significantly higher evaluations for performances featuring high rather than low conducting expressivity regardless of the ensemble's performance quality. Evaluations for both articulation and dynamics were strongly and positively correlated with evaluations of overall ensemble expressivity.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus