Fine Arts and Music Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 37
Action and familiarity effects on self and other expert musicians' Laban effort-shape analyses of expressive bodily behaviors in instrumental music performance: a case study approach
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2014-10-29)
Self-reflective performance review and expert evaluation are features of Western music performance practice. While music is usually the focus, visual information provided by performing musicians' expressive bodily behaviors communicates expressiveness to musically trained and untrained observers. Yet, within a seemingly homogenous group, such as one of musically trained individuals, diversity of experience exists. Individual differences potentially affect perception of the subtleties of expressive performance, and performers' effective communication of their expressive intentions. This study aimed to compare self- and other expert musicians' perception of expressive bodily behaviors observed in marimba performance. We hypothesized that analyses of expressive bodily behaviors differ between expert musicians according to their specialist motor expertise and familiarity with the music. Two professional percussionists and experienced marimba players, and one professional classical singer took part in the study. Participants independently conducted Laban effort-shape analysis - proposing that intentions manifest in bodily activity are understood through shared embodied processes - of a marimbists' expressive bodily behaviors in an audio-visual performance recording. For one percussionist, this was a self-reflective analysis. The work was unfamiliar to the other percussionist and singer. Perception of the performer's expressive bodily behaviors appeared to differ according to participants' individual instrumental or vocal motor expertise, and familiarity with the music. Furthermore, individual type of motor experience appeared to direct participants' attention in approaching the analyses. Findings support forward and inverse perception-action models, and embodied cognitive theory. Implications offer scientific rigor and artistic interest for how performance practitioners can reflectively analyze performance to improve expressive communication.
The Role of Trait and State Absorption in the Enjoyment of Music
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2016-11-09)
Little is known about the role of state versus trait characteristics on our enjoyment of music. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of state and trait absorption upon preference for music, particularly preference for music that evokes negative emotions. The sample consisted of 128 participants who were asked to listen to two pieces of self-selected music and rate the music on variables including preference and felt and expressed emotions. Participants completed a brief measure of state absorption after listening to each piece, and a trait absorption inventory. State absorption was strongly positively correlated with music preference, whereas trait absorption was not. Trait absorption was related to preference for negative emotions in music, with chi-square analyses demonstrating greater enjoyment of negative emotions in music among individuals with high trait absorption. This is the first study to show that state and trait absorption have separable and distinct effects on a listener's music experience, with state characteristics impacting music enjoyment in the moment, and trait characteristics influencing music preference based on its emotional content.
Music Undergraduates' Usefulness and Importance Expectations: The Bologna Process from an Australian University Perspective
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2016-07-12)
The Bologna Process model of higher education has been introduced into some Australian universities since 2008. This model promoted university study through a liberal arts philosophy that advanced a worldview approach at the undergraduate level. The model generalized the student experience and eliminated undergraduate specialization. An interesting situation for music undergraduate study thus arose. Expertise and expert performance research has argued an opposing educational approach, namely: Extensive long-term commitment through focused practical engagement and specialized tuition as prerequisites to achieving musical mastery, especially in performance. Motivation research has shown that the majority of this specialized development in pre-university years would be accessed and reinforced predominantly through private music tuition. Drawing on this contextual literature, commencing university music undergraduates would have expectations of their prospective study founded from two historical influences. The first: How undergraduates had accessed pre-university music tuition. The second: How and in what ways undergraduates' pre-university musical activities were experienced and reinforced. Using usefulness and importance measures, the study observed the expectations of students about to commence music undergraduate studies at three representative Australian university music schools. One of these universities operated the Bologna styled model. No other known Australian study has investigated this implementation for any effects upon music undergraduate expectations. How much commencing music undergraduates would draw on their pre-university music instruction and experiences to predict their usefulness and importance expectations formed the basis for this investigation. Strong relationships between usefulness and importance were found across all units of study. Despite strong correlations across all units of study between usefulness and importance, there was a reluctance to be outwardly positive toward units of study that were not practical and performance-related, such as Music History. The educational model did not appear to affect music undergraduate expectations.
An Expressive Bodily Movement Repertoire for Marimba Performance, Revealed through Observers' Laban Effort-Shape Analyses, and Allied Musical Features: Two Case Studies
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2016-08-31)
Musicians' expressive bodily movements can influence observers' perception of performance. Furthermore, individual differences in observers' music and motor expertise can shape how they perceive and respond to music performance. However, few studies have investigated the bodily movements that different observers of music performance perceive as expressive, in order to understand how they might relate to the music being produced, and the particular instrument type. In this paper, we focus on marimba performance through two case studies-one solo and one collaborative context. This study aims to investigate the existence of a core repertoire of marimba performance expressive bodily movements, identify key music-related features associated with the core repertoire, and explore how observers' perception of expressive bodily movements might vary according to individual differences in their music and motor expertise. Of the six professional musicians who observed and analyzed the marimba performances, three were percussionists and experienced marimba players. Following training, observers implemented the Laban effort-shape movement analysis system to analyze marimba players' bodily movements that they perceived as expressive in audio-visual recordings of performance. Observations that were agreed by all participants as being the same type of action at the same location in the performance recording were examined in each case study, then across the two studies. A small repertoire of bodily movements emerged that the observers perceived as being expressive. Movements were primarily allied to elements of the music structure, technique, and expressive interpretation, however, these elements appeared to be interactive. A type of body sway movement and more localized sound generating actions were perceived as expressive. These movements co-occurred and also appeared separately. Individual participant data revealed slightly more variety in the types and locations of actions observed, with judges revealing preferences for observing particular types of expressive bodily movements. The particular expressive bodily movements that are produced and perceived in marimba performance appear to be shaped by music-related and sound generating features, musical context, and observer music and motor expertise. With an understanding of bodily movements that are generated and perceived as expressive, embodied music performance training programs might be developed to enhance expressive performer-audience communication.
Emotion as creative practice: Linking creativity and wellbeing through the history and sociology of emotion
(International Journal of Wellbeing, 2020)
This article draws on recent developments in the history of emotion and the sociology of creativity to argue that emotions themselves may be viewed as creative practices. After an initial, broad overview of key historical and epistemological complexities in emotions research, it describes a framework for understanding emotion (and the history of emotion) proposed by Monique Scheer (2012), which is grounded in the practice theory of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. In Scheer’s view, emotions should not be viewed as fundamentally internal physiological or psychological states, but as the practices to which those states are inextricably linked, and by which they are mobilized, named, communicated and regulated. The article then describes a sociological framework for understanding creativity proposed by Janet Chan (2016), which is also underpinned by Bourdieu’s practice theory, and which posits that creativity is an inherent feature of all social action and may generate social change via institutionalized cultural practice or cultural revolt, the latter of which may itself take at least three forms. It then links Scheer’s and Chan’s frameworks together, explaining how, from this sociological perspective, emotions can be understood as creative practices, as embodied acts of thinking performed in habituated ways and which themselves generate change by doing different types of creative work. It proposes a new four-part framework for categorizing emotions as creative practices, based on Chan’s framework for creativity: 1) emotion as institutionalized cultural practice; 2) emotion as cultural edgework; 3) emotion as cultural transcendence; and 4) emotion as cultural transformation. It concludes by suggesting that this framework provides an original and useful way of explaining the role of emotion in generating social and historical change, and of explaining the link between creativity and wellbeing from a sociological perspective.
Harmonious Relations: A Framework for Studying Varieties of Peace in Music-Based Peacebuilding
(SAGE Publications, 2020)
This article presents an analytical framework for systematically studying the relationships portrayed within music-based peacebuilding and their respective representations of peace. Music activities with peacebuilding objectives work predominantly within a relational concept of peace, bringing into existence relationships between sounds, people, and spaces through which behaviours such as non-dominance and cooperation can be enacted. However, each of these relationships can communicate different ideas about peace and its manifestation, communications that may be inconsistent with each other and with the activity’s peaceful intentions. The “harmonious relations” framework that this article introduces is a tool for capturing and analysing these embedded relationships and representations. It uses concepts of harmony as a heuristic for critically appraising music’s potential contributions to peace in development contexts, synthesising ideas about relationships in peace and music from peace studies, musicology, philosophy and anthropology. The case of the Zohra Ensemble from Afghanistan illustrates its application.
Tura Tracks: An evaluation of Tura New Music's regional and remote residencies and touring in 2019
(Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University, 2019)
This report presents an evaluation framework created for Tura New Music’s programs in regional and remote Australia and the findings of a summative evaluation of its work in the remote north-west region of Australia known as the Kimberley. Tura New Music has worked in the Kimberley since 2003, bringing cross-genre, contemporary live music and sound art to remote communities through an annual program of concerts, workshops and residencies, presented in partnership with local organisations.
From imitation to invention: Issues and
Strategies for the ESL Music Classroom
(Australian Council of Orff Schulwerk, 2009-07-01)
For child immigrants and refugees to Australia, school can present a minefield of challenges to navigate, from unfamiliar language to the rules and conventions of Australian school culture. Music offers such children a potent means of expression and connection with others, and is way in which many experience their first feelings of success in school here. However, developing musical creativity in English as Second Language [ESL] settings poses challenges for music educators in building student understanding of the intentions of the tasks. This article discusses some of the arising issues and offers three strategies from the author’s experiences as a music teacher in a Melbourne English Language School.
(University of Exeter, 2018)
Harmony’s semantic links across music and the social domain mean that when evoked in the context of music in peacebuilding, harmony provides both a description of musical action, and an aspirational projection of the desired social outcome. However, in both domains, harmony’s foundational values and implied practices raise questions of how apt it is as a representation, tool, or goal of contemporary peacebuilding. This article seeks to answer these questions. Conceptual in scope, it examines the multiple concepts attached to harmony in the musical and sociocultural domains, and discusses these in relation to peacebuilding, illustrating some of the possible alignments and alliances with examples of cross-community music projects. It offers a heuristic for considering harmony and its values, practices, affordances, and implications from a more critical and nuanced perspective.
Music development and post‑conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka
Can music development programs such as large-scale public festivals help to repair the sociocultural divisions wrought by war and violent conflict? If so, under what facilitating conditions? This chapter engages with these questions, presenting research into the Sri Lanka Norway Music Cooperation, a partnership between Sri Lankan development NGO Sevalanka Foundation and Concerts Norway, the Norwegian state concerts agency that was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2018.
Zelenka reception in the nineteenth century: Some new sources
(Association for Central European Cultural Studies, 2015)
This article presents evidence of new sources relating to the transmission and reception of the music of Bohemian composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) in the nineteenth century, which are located in Poland, Russia, Boston and elsewhere. The author speculates about the role of Italian theologian and composer Fortunato Santini (1778-1861) in promulgating Zelenka’s music, and shows that this music was more widely disseminated than previously thought.