Performers and an Active Audience: Movement in Music Production and Perception
Musizierende und ein aktives Publikum: Der Aspekt der Bewegung beim Ausüben und Wahrnehmen von Musik

Main Article Content

Laura Bishop
Werner Goebl


Musical communication involves performance and perception processes, both of which engage the sensorimotor system. In much of the performance science literature, however, musical communication is conceptualized as a one-way trajectory from active performer to passive listener, minimizing the contribution of the listener and the collaborative nature of communication. In this paper, we discuss how movement contributes to 1) music performance, through sound production, interperformer coordination, and visual expressivity, and 2) music perception, through the simulation of observed gestures, activation of crossmodal associations, and induction of overt synchronized responses. Embodied music cognition, which treats musical communication as a process of dynamic interaction between individuals, and emphasizes the role of the physical body in mediating between environmental stimuli and subjective experiences, provides a background for our discussion. We conclude the paper with a discussion of how ongoing technological developments are simultaneously enhancing our ability to study musical communication (e.g., via integration of optical motion capture and mobile eye tracking) and, by introducing means of performing music that do not rely on human movement, challenging our understanding of how music and movement relate.

music listening; perceptual-motor coupling; visual communication; ensemble coordination; embodied music cognition

Article Details

Research Reports on Thematic Focus