The reciprocity between ancillary gesture and music structure performed by expert musicians

Santos, Thais Fernandes

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

During the musical performance, expert musicians consciously manipulate acoustical parameters expressing their interpretative choices. Also, players make physical motions and, in many cases, these gestures are related to the musicians’ artistic intentions. However, it’s not clear if the sound manipulation reflects in physical motions. The understanding of the musical structure of the work being performed in its many levels may impact the projection of artistic intentions, and performers alter it in micro and macro-sections, such as in musical motifs, phrases and sessions. Therefore, this paper investigates the timing manipulation and how such variations may reflect in physical gestures. The study involved musicians (flute, clarinet, and bassoon players) performing a unison excerpt by G. Rossini. We analyzed the relationship between timing variation (the Inter Onsets Interval deviations) and physical motion based on the traveled distance of the flute under different conditions. The flutists were asked to play the musical excerpt in three experimental conditions: (1) playing solo and playing in duets with previous recordings by other instrumentalists, (2) clarinetist and (3) bassoonist. The finding suggests that: 1) the movements, which seem to be related to the sense of pulse, are recurrent and stable, 2) the timing variability in micro or macro sections reflects in gestures’ amplitude performed by flutists.