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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effects of nonverbal behaviors exhibited by multiple conductors on the timbre, intonation, and perceptions of three university choirs, and assessed relationships between time spent in selected conductor behaviors and analyses of the choirs' performances
by Grady, Melissa L., Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2014, 118; 3635958
Abstract (Summary)

This investigation examined the effects of aggregate nonverbal behaviors exhibited by 10 videotaped conductors on the choral sound and perceptions of 3 university choirs (N = 61 choristers) as they sang from memory the same a cappella motet. It then assessed relationships between time spent in selected nonverbal conducting behaviors and the choirs' sung performances and perceptions.

Examined nonverbal conductor behaviors were: (a) height of vertical gestural plane; (b) width of lateral gestural plane; (c) hand shape; and (d) emotional face expression. Dependent measures included Long Term Average Spectra (LTAS) data, pitch analyses, and singer questionnaires.

Among primary findings: (a) aggregate singer ratings yielded significant differences among the 10 conductors with respect to perceived gestural clarity and singing efficiency; (b) each of the 3 choirs responded similarly in timbre and pitch to the 10, counter-balanced conductor videos presented; (c) significantly strong, positive correlations between LTAS and pitch results suggested that those conductors whose nonverbal behaviors evoked more spectral energy in the choirs' sound tended also to elicit more in tune singing; (d) the 10 conductors exhibited significantly different amounts of aggregate time spent in the gestural planes and hand shapes analyzed; (e) above shoulder vertical gestures related significantly to less timbral energy, while gestures below shoulder level related significantly to increased timbral energy; (f) significantly strong, positive correlations between singer questionnaire responses and both pitch and LTAS data suggested that the choirs' timbre and pitch tended to vary according to whether or not the singers perceived a conductor's nonverbal communication as clear and whether or not they perceived they sang efficiently while following a particular conductor; (g) moderately strong, though not significant, associations between lateral gestures within the torso area and both pitch (more in tune) and timbre (more spectral energy), and between lateral gestures beyond the torso area and both pitch (less in tune) and timbre (less spectral energy); and (h) weak, non-significant correlations between aggregate time spent in various hand postures and the choirs' timbre and intonation, and between identified emotional face expressions and analyses of the choirs' sound.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Daugherty, James F.
Commitee: Broxholm, Julia, Hedden, Debra, Johnson, Christopher, Tucker, Paul
School: University of Kansas
Department: Music Education & Music Therapy
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-A 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Music education
Keywords: Choir, Choir conducting, Intonation, Nonverbal behaviors, Timbre
Publication Number: 3635958
ISBN: 978-1-321-17299-7
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