Music Perception
Visual Perception of Expressiveness in Musicians' Body Movements
Sofia Dahl, Anders Friberg


MUSICIANS OFTEN MAKE GESTURES and move their bodies expressing a musical intention. In order to explore to what extent emotional intentions can be conveyed through musicians' movements, participants watched and rated silent video clips of musicians performing the emotional intentions Happy, Sad, Angry, and Fearful. In the first experiment participants rated emotional expression and movement character of marimba performances. The results showed that the intentions Happiness, Sadness, and Anger were well communicated, whereas Fear was not. Showing selected parts of the player only slightly influenced the identification of the intended emotion. In the second experiment participants rated the same emotional intentions and movement character for performances on bassoon and soprano saxophone. The ratings from the second experiment confirmed that Fear was not communicated whereas Happiness, Sadness, and Anger were recognized. The rated movement cues were similar in the two experiments and were analogous to their audio counterpart in music performance.

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