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Features of conductor gesture: Towards a framework for analysis within interaction


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This paper presents the results of a study of conductor gesture and examines the effect of that gesture on musician action within a tertiary music rehearsal and pedagogical context. This study follows experimental work on conductor gesture and attempts to complement the results of experimental studies by using a corpus of naturally-occurring video recorded data of conducting classes. The aim is to determine whether the physical actions (gestures) of conductors can be seen to be systematically related to musician action (playing of instruments) in such naturally occurring data. In addition, we explore how quantitative analytical techniques, more familiar to experimental approaches, can be used as the basis for a framework for examining conductor gesture in data collected using ethnographic research approaches. This study concludes that conductor gesture has a significant effect on musician action, and suggests some salient features of conductor gesture.
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The Second International Conference on Music Communication Science, 3-4 December 2009, Sydney, Australia
Features of conductor gesture: Towards a framework for analysis within
Katharine Parton and Guy Edwards
School of Languages & Linguistics
The University of Melbourne
This paper presents the results of a study of conductor
gesture and examines the effect of that gesture on
musician action within a tertiary music rehearsal and
pedagogical context. This study follows experimental
work on conductor gesture and attempts to complement
the results of experimental studies by using a corpus of
naturally-occurring video recorded data of conducting
classes. The aim is to determine whether the physical
actions (gestures) of conductors can be seen to be
systematically related to musician action (playing of
instruments) in such naturally occurring data. In addition,
we explore how quantitative analytical techniques, more
familiar to experimental approaches, can be used as the
basis for a framework for examining conductor gesture in
data collected using ethnographic research approaches.
This study concludes that conductor gesture has a
significant effect on musician action, and suggests some
salient features of conductor gesture.
In contemporary Western art music tradition, the
conductor, and the practice of conducting, has attained
unparalleled levels of esteem and prestige. Conductors are
essential to the successful performance of much Western
art music, and serve as a critical locus of temporal and
artistic coordination and direction (Berlioz [1948] 1965,
Stokowski [1943] 1965). Conductors perform these
functions through complex physical actions, involving
(most saliently) the hands, arms, gaze, facial expressions
and (in many cases) the baton, but also extending, at times,
to whole body movements.
Conducting can therefore be said to be a practice,
achieved within a particular social and cultural context,
whereby specific communicative functions are performed
through physical action (gesture). Furthermore,
conducting is explicitly intended to produce a desired
change or effect in the orchestra (or equally, other musical
ensemble). This paper aims to use a quantitative approach
to evaluate conducting as a communicative practice, and
to propose some of the salient features of conductors’
Critically, this paper argues that conducting should be
examined through ethnographically valid data, alongside
experimental studies of musician-conductor
communication. Effectively, therefore, this study is a
corpus-based approach to studying conductor gesture as it
occurs in actual rehearsal contexts.
The examination of conductor gesture, and other musician
gesture, has been approached from a number of different
perspectives and methodologies. There are two main
traditions which inform this study; firstly, the examination
of conductor gesture from a psycho-linguistic and
psychological perspective, and secondly the application of
ethnographic and anthropological approaches to musician
communication. In addition, this study is critically
situated within the study of gesture as a communicative
act. It is to this aspect, gesture as situated action, that we
turn now, prior to a discussion of recent developments in
the study of musician and conductor gesture.
Gesture and physical actions are performed by individuals
to achieve particular goals and outcomes. In social
situations that is, situations in which the mutual
monitoring of physical and verbal actions is possible
(Goffman 1997) – gesture and physical action co-occur
with speech, forming a cohesive system (McNeill 1985,
1992, 2000). Physical actions can be seen to be situated
and dependent on the environments in which they occur
(Goodwin 2003). These ‘situated actions’ (Goodwin 2000,
2003) are performed by participants relative to the
environment in which they occur; gestures are constituted
in terms of the physical world, and also in terms of the
shared social understandings held by participants that
create social context. The social construction of embodied
and situated actions is demonstrated, for example, by
Ochs, Gonzales & Jacoby (1997) describing the social
interactions of physicists that include tools and physical
objects such as diagrams, whiteboards and pens, and
Suchman (1996), who argues that airport control rooms
are shared workplaces created by the physical and social
interaction of individuals.
Conductor gesture, and the practice of conducting, has
been the subject of extensive study by musicians and
musicological theorists; this includes conducting manuals
and textbooks (such as Green 1996, Rudolf 1994, among
many others), and more abstract discussions of the
function and purpose of conductors (such as Berlioz [1948]
1965). Typically, this work is focused on instructional and
educational outcomes, and is of limited use in evaluating
how conducting functions as a communicative practice.
Some work has been proposed towards ‘pragmatics’ and
‘semiotics’ of conducting (such as that cited in Luck &
Nte 2008). A study by Boyes-Braem & Bräm (2000)
examined ‘expressive’ gestures made by conductors,
using an expert informant to code such gestures for
meaning and comparing the form of conductor gesture to
standardized sign-language. Similarly, Poggi (2002)
The Second International Conference on Music Communication Science, 3-4 December 2009, Sydney, Australia
undertook a study of conductors’ facial expressions, with
the aim of developing a lexicon, again based on a single
informant. Parton (2007) undertook a study of conductor
gestures according to McNeill’s continua (McNeill 2005),
suggesting that conductor gestures show some consonance
with gestures produced alongside speech, and with
normative human gestures. These studies (excluding Luck
& Nte 2008, which we discuss further, below) are
generally limited to qualitative micro-analysis of
synchronic examples of conductor gesture, or to particular
features across a set of gestures. These studies, however,
clearly situate conductor gesture within a broader field of
the study of interaction and communicative practices.
A study by Haviland (2007) of the multi-modal
interactional resources used by musicians in the context of
a chamber music master-class between a professional and
a student string quartet concluded that musicians deploy
multi-modal (gestural) communicative resources in, as
Haviland (2007) suggests, complex and situated ways. He
argues that musician multimodal gesture practices suggest
that musicians are creating meaning dynamically, and that,
for musicians, the distinction between cognition and
embodiment is (at least) awkward, if not entirely
problematic (Haviland 2007). Critically, this study, along
with similar studies of musician interaction (such as
Weeks 1996), are based on ethnographic methodologies
of examining naturally-occurring data, rather than
isolating particular variables within experimental or
otherwise manufactured conditions.
Experimental and more controlled studies of conductor
gesture and conducting practices have focused on
examining the effects of conducting gesture, including
both expressive gestures, and temporal gestures (typically
made with the right hand to provide the ‘beat’ and
temporal coordination across an ensemble). The
interaction of participants with novel musical technologies
(Less, World & Borchers 2005, Marrin & Picard 1998)
has provided a basis for examining ‘conductor-like’
interactions mediated by particular technologies. Similarly,
Kabisch, Williams & Dourish (2005) examined human
computer interaction (HCI) with ‘sonic environments’ and
other participants. Experimental approaches include
studies of temporal gestures and the effect of participant
education (Kelly 1997), expressive gesture effects
(Skadsen 1997) and motion-capture studies (Clayton
1986). Luck & Nte (2008) conducted an experiment
designed to test the effects of conductor temporal gestures,
using a complex motion-capture and response
measurement system. They found a significant effect on
participant synchronization with conductor gestures for
previous experience as a musician or a conductor, but no
significant effect for variation in gesture size.
There is a clear, and not entirely unexpected, divide
between studies of conductor gesture which use
experimental, robust approaches to measuring conductor
gesture in non-natural environments, and studies which
are based on qualitative analysis of naturally occurring
data. As noted by Luck & Nte (2008), experimental
approaches to the ‘applied phenomenon’ of conducting
are limited in that they exclude the interactive and situated
nature of the activity. Conversely, qualitative studies are
limited in the extent to which they can produce robust and
verifiable results. The intention of the present study is to
attempt to bridge this gap in the examination of conductor
As highlighted in the preceding section, this study is
(partially) an attempt to investigate and validate
experimental findings through analysis of
naturally-occurring data. The methodology, therefore, is
fundamentally oriented to the analysis of a corpus of
naturally-occurring conductor gesture; more detail on data
used in the study is given in the following section.
The aim of this study is to measure the effect of conductor
action on subsequent actions by musicians. The intention
furthermore is to examine this effect in naturally
occurring data; to determine what effect (if any)
conducting has on the in-situ behavior of musicians.
Further detail on conductor action and musician action
examined in this study is given in the Coding section,
It is important to note that, as a fundamentally
corpus-based study, some research techniques commonly
used in experimental studies notably the use of control
group(s) cannot be applied. In coding and analysis, our
intention has been to explore a framework for quantitative
approaches to natural data in conductor gesture research.
Data for this study were collected during tertiary-level
conducting classes. The classes are delivered by a
professional conductor; student participants in the class
conduct short excerpts of orchestral repertoire whilst
receiving instruction and observing demonstrations of
conducting technique. The students conduct small mixed
ensembles of between 4 and 10 players (varying
depending on the class); the players were of either senior
tertiary or professional musicians. In total, data for 30
conductors (29 intermediate student and 1 professional /
instructor) were collected. Data were collected using a
single video-camera positioned approximately five metres
directly in front of the conductor.
Data coding and measurement was conducted using a
specialized gesture analysis software program (Elan). The
data were separated into two sections.
Section A Musician response to occurrence of
conductor gesture
Data for this section uses a particular section of music
conducted by the participants (Haydn Symphony No. 104,
bars 3-5 and 9-10). This section features 5 repeated
musical phrases, and the score carries no dynamic
markings. Participants could therefore choose to gesture
(using the left hand in an ‘expressive’ gesture) to indicate
a desired change in volume (dynamic) of ensemble
playing. Conductor left-hand gestures were coded as
either gesture (travelling or static) or no gesture. Musician
response was measured using the sound (waveform)
represented in ELAN, and coded as either change, or no
change. Each instance (N=92) is therefore described in
terms of a conductor gesture and a musician action. No
The Second International Conference on Music Communication Science, 3-4 December 2009, Sydney, Australia
coding was conducted of relative timing of any change in
volume to conductor gesture; musician response was
considered if it occurred within the musical phrase.
Section B – Varying conductor gesture and musician
This section focuses on musician responses to varying
conductor gesture at the start of playing. The conductors
used gesture to ‘cue’ or start the ensemble, using the
right-hand, normatively responsible for ‘beating’ and
temporal coordination. Conductor right-hand gestures
were coded for salient variations, as follows:
2. Handshape (BATON, POINT, GRIP /
3. Body orientation (FRONT,
4. Position of gesture in relation to torso
5. Accompaniment of gesture by left-hand
movement (NO ACCOMP, LEFT
6. Arm extension (CLOSE, MID, FULL)
Musician response was measured by the lag from the
completion of the gesture stroke to the beginning of
audible sound, measured in milliseconds. 27 instances
were coded for this section.
Section A Musician response to occurrence of
conductor gesture
The results of this analysis showed that conductor gesture
has a significant effect on musician responses.
Table 1: Musician response to gesture (N=92)
Conductor Gesture
No gesture
Gesture (travelling or static)
There is a systematic difference between musician
responses (no change compared to change) between
conductor gestures (Chi Square 49.401, p < 0.001).
Analysis was conducted to the level of whether a
conductor gesture was present. The results of this analysis
support the contention that the presence of a conductor
gesture was associated with a response from the
Section B – Musician response to varying conductor
The results for this section are less robust, given a lower
number of instances (27) included in the data. This may
have contributed to non-significant results for variation in
lag times for size of gesture, hand-shape and arm
extension (close or far from the body). The co-presence or
absence of an accompanying left-hand gesture also did not
have a significant effect on musician start times.
Table 2: Gesture position and lag times (N=27)
Position of gesture
in relation to torso
Significant results (using a t-test) were found for the
position of the conductor’s right hand in relation to the
torso (t = 3.163, p < 0.005) (Table 2). Right-hand gestures
made with the hand ‘within’ the torso were associated
with a longer average lag time (207.9ms) compared to
right-hand gestures made with the hand held out to the
side of the torso (average lag 118.5ms).
An unrelated ANOVA analysis found a significant
variation (F = 6.53, p = 0.005) in lag time for body
orientation. Body orientation was coded for front-facing,
front-left (45 degree left) and left (90 degrees left).
Further post-hoc analysis of this variation showed that
front-left orientation varied significantly (p < 0.05) from
front-facing and left-facing, but that there was no
significant variation between front and left (90 degree)
body orientations. No significant variation in lag time
from conductor gesture to musician action was observed
for changes in hand-shape, arm extension or
accompaniment of the right-hand gesture by a
simultaneous left-hand movement.
The results from this study show the expected result; that
there is a systematic relationship between conductor
gesture and the responses of musicians being conducted.
More importantly, however, the results of section A show
that the quantitative analysis of naturally occurring data
shows a similar (and expected) relationship between
conductor gesture and musician action as seen in
experimental studies of conductor expressive gesture.
The results of the second section are less conclusive; the
intention was to propose salient features of conductor
gesture that could be associated with a measurable
variable of musician response. The results suggest that
there are some features of conductor gesture that are
particularly salient; namely body orientation and gesture
position relative to the torso. The results for body
orientation are, to some degree, problematic, and show
unexpected differences in variation between front and left
orientations. The relative positioning of the gesture and
lag time, examined using a t-test, are more robust, and
suggest that variation in conductor gesture has an effect
on subsequent musician action.
As stated in the aim, the aim of this study was to explore a
framework whereby natural data – that is, a corpus of
‘real-life’ conductor gestures and musician actions
could be used to validate the conclusions of similar
experimental studies of conductor gesture. The findings of
this study are, in many respects, expected; conductor
gesture is associated with responses from musicians, and
spatial orientation of conductor gesture affects how
musicians respond to that gesture. This paper has
attempted to mirror the results of experimental studies,
such as Luck & Nte (2008), using naturally occurring data
The Second International Conference on Music Communication Science, 3-4 December 2009, Sydney, Australia
to overcome the limitations of experimental research
design. Whilst the results of the analysis may be (to some
degree) problematic, it is clear that there is significant
potential to apply robust quantitative techniques to natural
The framework used to approach conductor gesture and
musician action in this research is deliberately focused on
clearly observable physical change. We have not sought
to impose an aesthetic framework for example,
examining tone quality or sonority of playing in coding
musician responses, nor to categorise conductor gesture
within paradigms or lexicons of conducting technique.
The intention is to establish from natural data similar
conclusions about action and response as may be observed
in controlled conditions, and to begin to suggest some of
the salient features of conductor gesture that can be
identified within data constrained by an observational and
ethnographic research method.
There are clear future directions suggested as outcomes
from this research; the relationship between musician
dynamic change and conductor gesture is one which these
results clearly indicate as a possibly productive path. In
addition, the development of more accurate measurement
techniques for video-recorded (naturally-occuring,
non-experimental) motion data will enable more accurate
quantitative analysis of conductor and musician action.
Larger, and more complex, ensembles may also provide
richer data for similar research.
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... Similarly, Poggi (2002) [69] undertook a study of conductors facial expressions, with the aim of developing a lexicon, again based on a single informant. Parton (2009) [65] undertook a study of conductor gestures according to McNeills continua [57], suggesting that conductor gestures show some consonance with gestures produced alongside speech, and with normative human gestures. These studies are generally limited to qualitative micro-analysis of synchronic examples of conductor gesture, or to particular features across a set of gestures. ...
... Similarly, Poggi (2002) [69] undertook a study of conductors facial expressions, with the aim of developing a lexicon, again based on a single informant. Parton (2009) [65] undertook a study of conductor gestures according to McNeills continua [57], suggesting that conductor gestures show some consonance with gestures produced alongside speech, and with normative human gestures. These studies are generally limited to qualitative micro-analysis of synchronic examples of conductor gesture, or to particular features across a set of gestures. ...
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... Advanced human-computer interfaces to implement a more natural or immersive interaction with music have been proposed and/or studied in previous works ) for a wide array of applications: gaming (Gower & McDowall, 2012) ( Wang & Lai, 2011), new instruments creation/simulation (Jordà, 2010), medical rehabilitation (De Dreu, Van der Wilk, Poppe, Kwakkel, & Van Wegen, 2012), modification of visual patterns by using sung or speech voice ( Levin & Lieberman, 2004), body motion to sound mapping (Antle, Droumeva, & Corness, 2008) (Castellano, Bresin, Camurri, & Volpe, 2007) (Halpern et al., 2011) ( Khoo et al., 2008), orchestra conductor simulation (Morita, Hashimoto, & Ohteru, 1991) (Parton & Edwards, 2009) (Todoroff, Leroy, & Picard- Limpens, 2011), tangible and haptic instrument simulation (Bakker, van den Hoven, & Antle, 2011) (Holland, Bouwer, Dalgelish, & Hurtig, 2010), drum-hitting simulation (Höofer, Had- jakos, & Mühlhäuser, 2009) (Ng, 2004) (Trail et al., 2012) (Odowichuk, Trail, Driessen, Nie, & Page, 2011), etc. ...
... Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.86 International Journal of Creative Interfaces and Computer Graphics, 6(1), 73-87, January-June 2015Parton,K., & Edwards, G. (2009). Features of conduc- tor gesture: Towards a framework for analysis within interaction. ...
In this paper, an implementation of a virtual reality based application for drumkit simulation is presented. The system tracks user motion through the use of a Kinect camera sensor, and recognizes and detects user-generated drum-hitting gestures in real-time. In order to compensate the effects of latency in the sensing stage and provide real-time interaction, the system uses a gesture detection model to predict user movements. The paper discusses the use of two different machine learning based solutions to this problem: the first one is based on the analysis of velocity and acceleration peaks, the other solution is based on Wiener filtering. This gesture detector was tested and integrated into a full implementation of a drumkit simulator, capable of discriminating up to 3, 5 or 7 different drum sounds. An experiment with 14 participants was conducted to assess the system's viability and impact on user experience and satisfaction.
... /fcomm. . of conductors and interaction in the rehearsal setting has been studied with regard to its sequential and multimodal organization (Meissl et al., Submitted;Weeks, 1985Weeks, , 1996Veronesi, 2014;Stoeckl and Messner, 2021), conducting gestures (Boyes Braem and Bräm, 2000;Parton and Edwards, 2009), facial expressions used by conductors (Poggi, 2002), vocalized and sung instructions (Messner, 2020) as well as the negotiation of epistemic stance (Parton, 2014). Similar to other instructional settings, the rehearsal process aims at improving the collective performance of the orchestra, mostly working toward a concert. ...
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In this contribution, we examine the way in which orchestra conductors use the space around them to convey aspects of musical dynamics. In music, dynamics refers to the intensity of volume of notes and sounds and its interpretation is highly context-bound. We approach dynamics as a phenomenon of emergent and construed meaning in interaction, induced by the music score and the interpretation in situ by musicians and the conductor. Conductors’ movement-based instructions on dynamics result in highly complex usage events. This study aims at disentangling these instances by asking how conductors move and use the space around them to instruct on (un)desired aspects of musical dynamics, zooming in on movement direction as a central formal feature. We find ourselves at the crossroads of cognitive and interactional linguistics, aligning with existing studies on the interactional and contextually embedded nature of music interaction. From a cognitive linguistic perspective, this endeavor translates as the identification of the construal mechanisms (metaphor, specificity and viewpoint) that underlie and therefore motivate movement directions in the specific instances under examination. The analysis is based on 10h of video data from a corpus recorded during rehearsals of five conductors instructing their respective orchestras in Dutch. Our data reveal that conductors use different movement patterns, some of which appear to involve opposite movement directions for expressing a similar music dynamical aspect, e.g., depending on the usage event, a vertical upward movement can mean both a request for playing louder and softer. By taking into account different construal mechanisms, we are able to provide an encompassing multimodal analysis, in which these allegedly deviating oppositional movements appear as consistently motivated (metaphorical) expressions, which profile a similar target concept involving different viewpoints.
... A Conductor's behaviour during music performance is a fascinating set of body movements that provides musically relevant information to performers but also makes part of the magic of that special kind of interaction and flow of emotions that holds in a choir or an orchestra. Research on the bodily communicative behaviour during music performance has investigated the musical and communicative functions of performers' movements, their influence on the listeners' subjective experience of music [1] and in co-performers' synchronisation [2] [3], gestures in singing and in musical teaching [4] [5], and the conductors' movements [6,7,8,9]. Such body of research, beside affording application in musical teaching and performers' awareness, may be exploited in the construction of artificial systems that perform, understand, interpret or judge music, like systems for home conducting [10] or conductor virtual agents and ...
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This paper examines recent studies within a general project, aimed at writing down the lexicons of a Conductor's body signals. Three observational studies focusing, respectively, on the semantic area of intensity and on the modality of gaze, through annotation of several fragments of orchestra and choir conduction in concert and rehearsal, discovered a total of 100 signals of intensity in various modalities, out of which, 21 intensity gestures and 20 conducting items of gaze. Subsequent perception studies on a subset of these signals reveal slight differences in interpretation by music Experts, Non-Experts and Amateurs, but confirm their comprehensibility, probably due to their underlying semiotic devices, the same holding also in everyday life gestures and gaze.
... Within works on temporal gestures, Luck (2000) studied the synchronization between the movement of the conductor's wrist and elbow and musicians' attack, finding that attack delay is shorter when seeing the baton only than in a full-cue condition; Luck and Nte (2008), through a computerbased environment for manipulating and presenting conductors' gestures, showed that the synchronization ability of musicians is determined by their own previous experience, not by conductors' experience or by the radius of curvature of the beat. Parton and Edwards (2009), by coding conductors' gestures in terms of size, handshape, body orientation, position, arm extension, accompaniment by left-hand movement, and measuring musicians' response by the lag from the completion of the gesture stroke to the beginning of audible sound, found that conductors' gestures are systematically related to musicians' action. ...
This work is aimed at outlining a repertoire of conductors’ gestures. In this perspective, it presents two studies that investigate a specific subset of the body signals of orchestra and choir conductors, namely, the gestures for musical intensity. First, an observational qualitative study, based on a systematic coding of a corpus of fragments from orchestra concerts and rehearsals, singled out 21 gestures, in which either the gesture as a whole or some aspects of it conveyed indications for forte, piano, crescendo, or diminuendo; some are symbolic gestures, used either with the same meaning as in everyday interaction or with one specific of conductors; others are iconic gestures, both directly or indirectly iconic. Second, in a perception study, a questionnaire submitted to 77 participants tested if 8 gestures of intensity out of the 21 singled out by the coding study are in fact shared and understood, and whether they are better interpreted by music experts than by laypeople. Results showed that the tested gestures are fairly comprehensible, not only by experts but also by non-expert participants, probably due, for some gestures, to their high level of iconicity, and for others to their closeness to everyday gestures.
... for instance Rudolf 1994;Bowen 2003;Watson 2012) or in studies that have investigated conducting from a pragmatic and semiotic perspective (cf. Poggi 2002Poggi , 2011Bräm 2000, 2004;Parton and Edwards 2009). ...
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The paper examines the phenomenon of correction of musical action by analysing ensemble music workshops devoted to Conduction®, a way of making music together on the basis of a codified gestural lexicon addressed by a conductor to instrumentalists. In particular, it focuses on correction sequences initiated by the conductor and related to the musical material to be played and discusses the techniques used by the conductor to construct and sequentially organize correction, showing how these are accomplished through the interplay and mutual contextualization of talk and further audible and visible semiotic resources. Based on the fine-grained analysis of two correction sequences, the study stresses the role of multimodality for investigating music and pedagogy from an interactional perspective, while highlighting the peculiarities of Conduction as performative and educational practice.
... Considering the actions of conductors in particular, Poggi (2002) examines combinations of conductor's orientation and gaze, Boyes-Braem and Bräm (2004) focus on specific conducting gestures and potential "lexicalised" meanings. Parton and Edwards (2009) examine variation in ensemble's response according to changing features of conductor's gestures, arguing for an interactional function of these gestures. Other examples of talk and multimodal interaction in rehearsals include Veronesi (2014) and Merlino (2014). ...
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An interactional participant's epistemic status relies on their access to “epistemic domains” which exist beyond the unfolding interaction in which they are expressed. Heritage argues that comparative access and epistemic status can be described along an “epistemic gradient” and that it is the expression of this status which, in the interaction, exists as the taking, aligning to, and challenging of epistemic stance. This paper describes some of the resources musicians use in interaction to encode the epistemic domains from which knowledge comes during orchestral rehearsal. As “sound-hearing” and “instrument-playing” are central to the work of musicians, the discussion will focus on how perceptions of auditory and corporeal experience are deployed as part of musicians' epistemic stance taking. I will argue that these epistemic stances, as expressions of graded and differential access to epistemic domains, form part of the construction of authority in orchestral rehearsal.
Despite the ubiquity of choirs across time and cultures, relatively little is known about the internal dynamics of these social systems. This article examines the group processes involved in a small European chamber choir. The research adopted a mixed-methods qualitative approach that combined individual interviews (n = 13) with ethnographic observation. Analysis described the group processes of the choir in relation to standard models of effective teamwork. The results suggest that certain dynamics of this choir lie beyond conventional conceptualisations of teamwork. Further conceptual and empirical research is necessary to develop a model of teamwork that can be applied to the conditions of performance-based teams and inform choral practice and training.
In this paper, an augmented reality application for drumkit simulation is presented. The system is capable of classifying any percussive sounds produced by the user from an everyday desktop environment, e.g. clapping, snapping, stroking different objects with a pencil, etc., recognizing up to six different classes of drum hits. These different types of user-generated sounds will subsequently be associated to predefined drumkit sounds, resulting in a natural and intuitive audio interface for drummers and percussionists, which only requires a computer with a built-in microphone. A set of audio features and classification techniques are evaluated for the implementation of the aforementioned system.
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This article reports an empirical investigation into the characteristics of conductors' temporal gestures and people's ability to synchronize with them. It describes a new approach to the investigation of the characteristics of conductors' gestures, the investigation of conductor-musician synchronization, and a first experiment to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach. As part of this approach, a new computer-based environment for manipulating and presenting conductors' gestures, and recording participants' responses, was developed. This involved the creation of several pieces of new software, all of which were developed under Microsoft® Windows® using Visual C++. Used in combination, these programs allowed: (1) the manipulation of the size and viewing angle of high-quality three-dimensional (3D) recordings of conductors' gestures; (2) the presentation of these gestures to participants in a controlled experimental setting; (3) the recording of participants' temporal responses to these gestures; (4) the calculation of various parameters of both the trajectory of the gestures (e.g. instantaneous speed, radius of curvature along the trajectory) and participants' responses (e.g. mean response point and associated standard deviation); and (5) the graphical display of relevant features of both the gestures and participants' responses in a clear visual form. In the experiment, participants tapped in time with simple conducting gestures while several factors that might be expected to affect synchronization accuracy were manipulated. These factors were (1) the radius of curvature with which the beat was defined; (2) the experience level of the conductor; and (3) the experience level of participants. Results indicated that only participants' previous experience affected their synchronization ability; no effects of conductors' previous experience, or radius of curvature with which the beat was defined were found. This first experiment successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the new approach for the investigation of conductors' gestures and conductor- musician synchronization, and this article concludes by suggesting a number of subsequent experiments that could be undertaken in this computer-based environment to investigate these topics further. Copyright
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Argues that gestures and speech are parts of the same psychological structure and share a computational stage. This argument is based on the close temporal, semantic, pragmatic, pathological, and developmental parallels between speech and referential and discourse-oriented gestures. The symbolic character of gestures is demonstrated with examples of gestures produced by 5 women who were narrating the same event from a cartoon story. Evidence is also presented in support of the conclusions that (1) gestures occur only during speech, (2) they have semantic and pragmatic functions that parallel those of speech, (3) they are synchronized with linguistic units, (4) they dissolve (as does speech) in aphasia, and (5) they develop together with speech in children. It is noted that a concept that unites outer speech and gesture is the hypothesis of inner speech. (57 ref)
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David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, here argues that gestures are active participants in both speaking and thinking. He posits that gestures are key ingredients in an “imagery-language dialectic” that fuels speech and thought. The smallest unit of this dialectic is the growth point, a snapshot of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage. In Gesture and Thought, the central growth point comes from a Tweety Bird cartoon. Over the course of twenty-five years, the McNeill Lab showed this cartoon to numerous subjects who spoke a variety of languages, and a fascinating pattern emerged. The shape and timing of gestures depends not only on what speakers see but on what they take to be distinctive; this, in turn, depends on the context. Those who remembered the same context saw the same distinctions and used similar gestures; those who forgot the context understood something different and changed gestures or used none at all. Thus, the gesture becomes part of the growth point—the building block of language and thought. Gesture and Thought is an ambitious project in the ongoing study of how we communicate and how language is connected to thought.
This landmark study examines the role of gestures in relation to speech and thought. Leading scholars, including psychologists, linguists and anthropologists, offer state-of-the-art analyses to demonstrate that gestures are not merely an embellishment of speech but are integral parts of language itself. The volume contributes to a rapidly growing field of study, offering a wide range of theoretical perspectives. It has strong cross-linguistic and cross-cultural components, examining gestures by speakers of Mayan, Australian, East Asian, as well as English and European languages.
Explores the detailed processes whereby concert performances of serious music are collectively achieved in rehearsal. The article concentrates on a youth orchestra rehearsing a section of a Beethoven symphony that was audiotaped. The article further focuses on the "talk" that shapes the collective musical activities rather than the sounds of the music itself. (30 references) (CK)
A theory of action must come to terms with both the details of language use and the way in which the social, cultural, material and sequential structure of the environment where action occurs figure into its organization. In this paper it will be suggested that a primordial site for the analysis of human language, cognition, and action consists of a situation in which multiple participants are attempting to carry out courses of action in concert with each other through talk while attending to both the larger activities that their current actions are ambedded within, and relevant phenomena in their surround. Using as data video recordings of young girls playing hopscotch and archaeologists classifying color, it will be argued that human action is built throught the simultaneous deployment of a range of quite different kinds of semiotic resources. Talk itself contains multiple sign systems with alternative properties. Strips of talk gain their power as social action via their placement within larger sequential structures, encompassing activities, and participation frameworks constituted through displays of mutual orientation made by the actors' bodies. The body is used in a quite different way to perform gesture, again a class of phenomena that encompasses structurally different types of sign systems. Both talk and gesture can index, construe or treat as irrelevant, entities in the participants' surround. Moreover, material structure in the surround, such as graphic fields of various types, can provide semiotic structure without which the constitution of particular kinds of action being invoked through talk would be impossible. In brief it will be argued that the construction of action through talk within situated interaction is accomplished through the temporally unfolding juxtaposition of quite different kinds of semiotic resources, and that moreover through this process the human body is made publicly visible as the site for a range of structurally different kinds of displays implicated in the constitution of the actions of the moment.