The Influence of Visual Information on Musical Judgments
Evaluating musical performances may not simply be a matter of assessing the sounds one hears. Movement, gesture, appearance and other visual information figures prominently in live and video performance. How might these features–traditionally considered “non-” or “extra-musical”–affect the way people interact with music? Previous MCCL research has indicated that expressive conductors–musicians whose medium is entirely rooted in visual information–elicited more positive evaluations of ensemble performances than non-expressive conductors, even across otherwise identical performances. Current projects are investigating the generalizability of this finding across age and experience levels as well as examining the salience of specific gestural categories.
One of the ways we have investigated the salience of gesture categories relates to this idea of congruence between sight and sound. Two studies looking at congruence have been conducted. The first study investigated the role of temporal congruence on evaluations of conductor efficacy, exploring predictive elements inherent in schools of conducting practice. The second examined the relationship between gesture and perception of aspects of the music’s content. See the posters: