Musicians on stage

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Date(s) - February 20th, 2015
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Divisione Ricerca e Sviluppo, aula 8


The visual component of music performance as experienced in a live concert is of central importance for the appreciation of music performance. However, up until now the influence of the visual component on the audience’s evaluation of music performance has been investigated unsystematically.

Historical reports on concerts of famous virtuosos of the 19th century such as Franz Liszt are a comprehensive source. These descriptions raise two questions: First, how can the influence of the visual component on music evaluation processes be quantified? Second, which theoretical model could give an explanation for potential evaluation differences? I will show some examples from popular music and results from a recently conducted study on the typology of the initial stage entrance behavior of performers. Against the theoretical background of social interaction theory, it is assumed that performance evaluation can only be understood as an interaction between expectations of audience’s sub-classes and observable behavior of groups of performers. Results of this “first impression” analysis of performance revealed three classes of stage entrance behavior: “appropriate”, “acceptable”, and “inappropriate” stage entrance behavior. Results suggest that for the adequate understanding of audiovisual performances, a model of music performance elaboration can be an alternative to models of musical communication.

Reinhard Kopiez

Since 1998 he has been Professor of Music Psychology at the University of Music and Theatre in Hanover. His research interests are in the areas of persuasive functions of music, musical performance, and emotional effects of music. He is Editor in Chief of the journal Musicae Scientiae and Head of the Hanover Music Lab.