The Effect of Intentional, Preplanned Movement on Novice Conductors' Gesture
Bodnar, Erin Nadine
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Variety and effectiveness of gesture differentiate expert conductors from novice conductors. Preplanning movement in conducting may be one way to widen the student's vocabulary of gesture and promote motor awareness. To test the difference between guided score study and guided score study with preplanned intentional movement on the conducting gestures of novice conductors, undergraduate music students (<italic>N</italic> = 20) were assigned to one of two conditions and then evaluated on their conducting performance. In the first condition, score study with preplanned intentional gestures, students assigned and practiced specific gestures to the articulations, dynamics, cues, texture, and phrase shapes. In the second condition, score study only, students were guided through the piece in terms of form, articulation, dynamics, orchestration, and texture, discussing the sound of the ensemble only. All participants were video recorded conducting the piece with an university instrumental ensemble. Performances were evaluated by four conducting experts on gestures of dynamics, articulation, cues, releases and phrasing. Analysis of the mean scores for each rating revealed no significant differences between the two conditions. Analysis of post-conducting interview transcriptions revealed several factors that may have contributed to the results of the conducting performances. For example, many of the score study only participants were silently matching their movements to the musical decisions being made.
- Music