INSIGHTS INTO MUSICAL CONDUCTING are traditionally derived from educational manuals and from interviews with conductors about their intuitive knowledge. Conducting as a form of highly specialized nonverbal communication has scarcely been studied empirically up to now. We investigated the perception of expressive movements used by conductors, as seen from three different positions with a multimodal, repeated-measures design. Observers with music training evaluated video recordings of several conductors with continuous and retrospective measures. Results indicate that watching the conductors from positions of woodwind players and first violinists (frontal and left-hand side) is perceptually more informative compared to the celli/double bass position (right-hand side). Observers gained specific information about the conductors' expressive musical intentions even in visual-only video sequences. Crosscorrelations between quantitative characteristics of conductors' movements and observers' continuous expressiveness responses show a tendency for different response time lags. These time lags are related to individual conductors' general affective behavior.
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