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Jazz improvisers' shared understanding: a case study.

Schober MF, Spiro N - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Performers endorsed statements they themselves had generated more often than statements by their performing partner and the expert listener; their overall level of agreement with each other was greater than chance but moderate to low, with disagreements about the quality of one of the performances and about who was responsible for it.The quality of the performances combined with the disparities in agreement suggest that, at least in this case study, fully shared understanding of what happened is not essential for successful improvisation.The fact that the performers endorsed an expert listener's statements more than their partner's argues against a simple notion that performers' interpretations are always privileged relative to an outsider's.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, New School for Social Research New York, NY, USA.

ABSTRACT
To what extent and in what arenas do collaborating musicians need to understand what they are doing in the same way? Two experienced jazz musicians who had never previously played together played three improvisations on a jazz standard ("It Could Happen to You") on either side of a visual barrier. They were then immediately interviewed separately about the performances, their musical intentions, and their judgments of their partner's musical intentions, both from memory and prompted with the audiorecordings of the performances. Statements from both (audiorecorded) interviews as well as statements from an expert listener were extracted and anonymized. Two months later, the performers listened to the recordings and rated the extent to which they endorsed each statement. Performers endorsed statements they themselves had generated more often than statements by their performing partner and the expert listener; their overall level of agreement with each other was greater than chance but moderate to low, with disagreements about the quality of one of the performances and about who was responsible for it. The quality of the performances combined with the disparities in agreement suggest that, at least in this case study, fully shared understanding of what happened is not essential for successful improvisation. The fact that the performers endorsed an expert listener's statements more than their partner's argues against a simple notion that performers' interpretations are always privileged relative to an outsider's.

No MeSH data available.


Distribution of players' agreement for the 151 unique statements. “Perfect agreement” means that both players gave exactly the same rating (from 1 to 5 on the 5-point scale); “substantial agreement” means that both players' ratings differed by only 1 point and they were either both endorsements or both dissents; “possible agreement” means that one of the players' ratings was neutral and the other's was not, which could either be seen as agreement or disagreement; and “disagreement” means that ratings differed by 3 or 4 rating points.
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Figure 4: Distribution of players' agreement for the 151 unique statements. “Perfect agreement” means that both players gave exactly the same rating (from 1 to 5 on the 5-point scale); “substantial agreement” means that both players' ratings differed by only 1 point and they were either both endorsements or both dissents; “possible agreement” means that one of the players' ratings was neutral and the other's was not, which could either be seen as agreement or disagreement; and “disagreement” means that ratings differed by 3 or 4 rating points.

Mentions: Figure 4 presents a closer look at the distribution of the statements about which the players agreed—both endorsing or both dissenting—and disagreed. (The figure includes ratings of all 151 statements about the original recordings to which each statement referred, but leaves out the ratings for the “generalizable” statements applied to the other two recordings; ratings for the generalizable statements are presented in Figure 6). As Figure 4 demonstrates, the disagreements (as well as the agreements) came from statements by all three sources (saxophonist, pianist, outside listener); from statements about each of the three performances as well as from the 4 global statements (e.g., “My partner listens to a lot of the stuff that I listen to”) and from statements that were specific to only one performance and generalizable across performances. The fact that the agreements and disagreements do not all come from the same source or the same performance suggests that the level of agreement observed here applies generally across this pair's entire performance experience, as opposed to only a particular moment, and that no party's characterizations were uniformly endorsable.


Jazz improvisers' shared understanding: a case study.

Schober MF, Spiro N - Front Psychol (2014)

Distribution of players' agreement for the 151 unique statements. “Perfect agreement” means that both players gave exactly the same rating (from 1 to 5 on the 5-point scale); “substantial agreement” means that both players' ratings differed by only 1 point and they were either both endorsements or both dissents; “possible agreement” means that one of the players' ratings was neutral and the other's was not, which could either be seen as agreement or disagreement; and “disagreement” means that ratings differed by 3 or 4 rating points.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4126153&req=5

Figure 4: Distribution of players' agreement for the 151 unique statements. “Perfect agreement” means that both players gave exactly the same rating (from 1 to 5 on the 5-point scale); “substantial agreement” means that both players' ratings differed by only 1 point and they were either both endorsements or both dissents; “possible agreement” means that one of the players' ratings was neutral and the other's was not, which could either be seen as agreement or disagreement; and “disagreement” means that ratings differed by 3 or 4 rating points.
Mentions: Figure 4 presents a closer look at the distribution of the statements about which the players agreed—both endorsing or both dissenting—and disagreed. (The figure includes ratings of all 151 statements about the original recordings to which each statement referred, but leaves out the ratings for the “generalizable” statements applied to the other two recordings; ratings for the generalizable statements are presented in Figure 6). As Figure 4 demonstrates, the disagreements (as well as the agreements) came from statements by all three sources (saxophonist, pianist, outside listener); from statements about each of the three performances as well as from the 4 global statements (e.g., “My partner listens to a lot of the stuff that I listen to”) and from statements that were specific to only one performance and generalizable across performances. The fact that the agreements and disagreements do not all come from the same source or the same performance suggests that the level of agreement observed here applies generally across this pair's entire performance experience, as opposed to only a particular moment, and that no party's characterizations were uniformly endorsable.

Bottom Line: Performers endorsed statements they themselves had generated more often than statements by their performing partner and the expert listener; their overall level of agreement with each other was greater than chance but moderate to low, with disagreements about the quality of one of the performances and about who was responsible for it.The quality of the performances combined with the disparities in agreement suggest that, at least in this case study, fully shared understanding of what happened is not essential for successful improvisation.The fact that the performers endorsed an expert listener's statements more than their partner's argues against a simple notion that performers' interpretations are always privileged relative to an outsider's.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, New School for Social Research New York, NY, USA.

ABSTRACT
To what extent and in what arenas do collaborating musicians need to understand what they are doing in the same way? Two experienced jazz musicians who had never previously played together played three improvisations on a jazz standard ("It Could Happen to You") on either side of a visual barrier. They were then immediately interviewed separately about the performances, their musical intentions, and their judgments of their partner's musical intentions, both from memory and prompted with the audiorecordings of the performances. Statements from both (audiorecorded) interviews as well as statements from an expert listener were extracted and anonymized. Two months later, the performers listened to the recordings and rated the extent to which they endorsed each statement. Performers endorsed statements they themselves had generated more often than statements by their performing partner and the expert listener; their overall level of agreement with each other was greater than chance but moderate to low, with disagreements about the quality of one of the performances and about who was responsible for it. The quality of the performances combined with the disparities in agreement suggest that, at least in this case study, fully shared understanding of what happened is not essential for successful improvisation. The fact that the performers endorsed an expert listener's statements more than their partner's argues against a simple notion that performers' interpretations are always privileged relative to an outsider's.

No MeSH data available.