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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

Mean evaluations for examples targeting (A) articulation and (B) dynamics.
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Figure 3: Mean evaluations for examples targeting (A) articulation and (B) dynamics.

Mentions: Having determined that evaluations of ensemble expressivity varied depending on the visual information provided by the conductor, we then examined the relationship between these evaluations and those for the target parameters of dynamics and articulation. We separated the 16 items for each of the two targets and calculated mean responses for each pairing of conductor and ensemble expressivity (C+/E+, C+/E-, C-/E+, and C-/E-) resulting in a set of four articulation and four dynamics scores for each participant. We also calculated a mean for each pairing of expressivity scores corresponding to each characteristic. This resulted in four expressivity scores for the articulation examples and four for the dynamics examples. Articulation scores were significantly and positively correlated with expressivity scores (Pearson’s r = 0.72, p < 0.001); there was also a significant positive correlation between dynamics and expressivity scores (r = 0.85, p < 0.001). As with expressivity evaluations, both dynamics and articulation were evaluated more positively for performances featuring more expressive conducting (Figure 3).


Conductor gestures influence evaluations of ensemble performance.

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

Mean evaluations for examples targeting (A) articulation and (B) dynamics.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 3: Mean evaluations for examples targeting (A) articulation and (B) dynamics.
Mentions: Having determined that evaluations of ensemble expressivity varied depending on the visual information provided by the conductor, we then examined the relationship between these evaluations and those for the target parameters of dynamics and articulation. We separated the 16 items for each of the two targets and calculated mean responses for each pairing of conductor and ensemble expressivity (C+/E+, C+/E-, C-/E+, and C-/E-) resulting in a set of four articulation and four dynamics scores for each participant. We also calculated a mean for each pairing of expressivity scores corresponding to each characteristic. This resulted in four expressivity scores for the articulation examples and four for the dynamics examples. Articulation scores were significantly and positively correlated with expressivity scores (Pearson’s r = 0.72, p < 0.001); there was also a significant positive correlation between dynamics and expressivity scores (r = 0.85, p < 0.001). As with expressivity evaluations, both dynamics and articulation were evaluated more positively for performances featuring more expressive conducting (Figure 3).

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