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Understanding the Conductor’s Communication of Expressive Timings – the Role of Tempo, Auditory-visual Modality, Musical Expertise and Movement

Author
Organization
Abstract
Expressive timing, through temporal coordination and expressivity, is an essential constituent of the communication between a conductor and ensemble musicians, and it has been studied both from a conductor’s perspective (e.g. in terms of physical parameters of conducting gestures) and from an observer’s perspective (e.g. in terms of evaluation of communicated musical expressivity). However, more insight is needed into the role of different factors that influence the conductor’s communication of expressive timing. In the current study, we investigated four factors that influence the sensitivity to the expressive timing communicated by a conductor; namely the experience in performing under the lead of a conductor, the ability to move along with the conductor, the role of visual and auditory modalities, and the tempo of expressive timing. We applied a repeated measures sensorimotor paradigm, based on a beat synchronization task. Participants (non-musicians, musicians, and musicians experienced in performing under the direction of a conductor) were asked to identify a musical beat by pressing a button while (1) listening to a musical piece (auditory condition), (2) observing the conductor directing the musical piece (visual condition), and (3) listening to the music and looking at the conductor’s gestures directing the music (audio-visual condition). Performing the task, participants were asked to either (1) move their body along with the music or the conductor (‘movement’ condition), or (2) stay still (‘no movement’ condition). The results reveal that conductor’s communication of expressive timing depends on an interconnection of experiences, tempi, and modalities of the beat. The ability to move along with the conductor did not significantly improve the participants’ expressive timing performance, which requires further research.
Keywords
musical expertise, expressive timing, movement., auditory-visual modality, conductor’s communication, tempo

Citation

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Chicago
Pazniakova, Liubou, Pieter-Jan Maes, Frank Desmet, and Marc Leman. 2017. “Understanding the Conductor’s Communication of Expressive Timings – the Role of Tempo, Auditory-visual Modality, Musical Expertise and Movement.” Music Perception.
APA
Pazniakova, L., Maes, P.-J., Desmet, F., & Leman, M. (2017). Understanding the Conductor’s Communication of Expressive Timings – the Role of Tempo, Auditory-visual Modality, Musical Expertise and Movement. MUSIC PERCEPTION.
Vancouver
1.
Pazniakova L, Maes P-J, Desmet F, Leman M. Understanding the Conductor’s Communication of Expressive Timings – the Role of Tempo, Auditory-visual Modality, Musical Expertise and Movement. MUSIC PERCEPTION. 2017;
MLA
Pazniakova, Liubou, Pieter-Jan Maes, Frank Desmet, et al. “Understanding the Conductor’s Communication of Expressive Timings – the Role of Tempo, Auditory-visual Modality, Musical Expertise and Movement.” MUSIC PERCEPTION (2017): n. pag. Print.
@article{8030234,
  abstract     = {Expressive timing, through temporal coordination and expressivity, is an essential constituent of the communication between a conductor and ensemble musicians, and it has been studied both from a conductor{\textquoteright}s perspective (e.g. in terms of physical parameters of conducting gestures) and from an observer{\textquoteright}s perspective (e.g. in terms of evaluation of communicated musical expressivity). However, more insight is needed into the role of different factors that influence the conductor{\textquoteright}s communication of expressive timing. In the current study, we investigated four factors that influence the sensitivity to the expressive timing communicated by a conductor; namely the experience in performing under the lead of a conductor, the ability to move along with the conductor, the role of visual and auditory modalities, and the tempo of expressive timing. We applied a repeated measures sensorimotor paradigm, based on a beat synchronization task. Participants (non-musicians, musicians, and musicians experienced in performing under the direction of a conductor) were asked to identify a musical beat by pressing a button while (1) listening to a musical piece (auditory condition), (2) observing the conductor directing the musical piece (visual condition), and (3) listening to the music and looking at the conductor{\textquoteright}s gestures directing the music (audio-visual condition). Performing the task, participants were asked to either (1) move their body along with the music or the conductor ({\textquoteleft}movement{\textquoteright} condition), or (2) stay still ({\textquoteleft}no movement{\textquoteright} condition). The results reveal that conductor{\textquoteright}s communication of expressive timing depends on an interconnection of experiences, tempi, and modalities of the beat. The ability to move along with the conductor did not significantly improve the participants{\textquoteright} expressive timing performance, which requires further research.},
  author       = {Pazniakova, Liubou and Maes, Pieter-Jan and Desmet, Frank and Leman, Marc},
  issn         = {0730-7829},
  journal      = {MUSIC PERCEPTION},
  keyword      = {musical expertise,expressive timing,movement.,auditory-visual modality,conductor{\textquoteright}s communication,tempo},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Understanding the Conductor{\textquoteright}s Communication of Expressive Timings -- the Role of Tempo, Auditory-visual Modality, Musical Expertise and Movement},
  year         = {2017},
}