Assessing a Clarinet Player's Performer Gestures in Relation to Locally Intended Musical Targets
Desmet, Frank × Nijs, Luc Demey, Michiel Lesaffre, Micheline Martens, Jean-Pierre Leman, Marc #
Swets & Zeitlinger
Journal of New Music Research vol:41 issue:1 pages:31-48
Musicianship is known to display high-level skills, which involve different aspects of mental processing and corporeal control. Of particular interest is the match between the musician’s mental focus on musical targets (the so-called musical intentions) and the expressive (or so-called auxiliary) body movements. To what extent are these related to each other? And what does this relationship reveal about mind–body connections? To approach these questions, a case study was set up around a clarinet solo performance played from score, covering a style of music unfamiliar to the player. The clarinetist’s movements were recorded with an optical movement tracking system. A statistical analysis method was developed, to account for movement data in relation to the potential musical intentions and targets. The bottom- up movement analysis method was validated with the performer’s annotations of targets in the musical score and the performer’s annotations of communicative/ sound facilitating gestures in the performance video. The results reveal that the mental focus on musical targets is related to bodily expression. This finding supports the idea of an embodied model of musical syntax processing, which is strongly related to corporeal gestures.