The role of gesture and non-verbal communication in popular music performance, and its application to curriculum and pedagogy

Pipe, Liz (2018) The role of gesture and non-verbal communication in popular music performance, and its application to curriculum and pedagogy. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Jane Davidson states that ‘the use of the body is vital in generating the technical and expressive qualities of a musical interpretation’ (2002, p. 146). Although technique and expression within music performance are separate elements, ‘they interact with, and depend upon, one another’ (Sloboda, 2000, p. 398) and, therefore, require equal consideration. Although it is possible for a musician to perform with exceptional technical prowess but little expression (Sloboda, 2000), it is important that the significance of the expressive qualities of the performer, and the ramifications of these on the delivery of the given performance, are acknowledged because whilst ‘sound is the greatest result of performance’ (Munoz, 2007, p. 56), music is not exclusively an auditory event; principally because ‘sound is essentially movement’ (Munoz, 2007, p. 56). As a performing art, music relies on the use of the physical self and body in the communicative process, and may require more than technical skill and proficient instrumental handling to be truly communicatively effective not least because, as stated by Juslin and Laukka, ‘music is a means of emotional expression' (2003, p. 774).

Through a designed interdisciplinary framework, this thesis examines the use of expressive gesture and non-verbal communication skills in popular music performance, and investigates how these communicative facets can be incorporated into popular music performance education within a higher education curriculum. To do this, this work explores the practices of student and professional musicians, focusing on the areas of gesture, persona and interaction, and uses ethnographic case studies, qualitative interview processes and extracts of video footage of 3 rehearsals and live performances to investigate the importance of the physical delivery of the given musical performance. The findings from these investigations are then applied to existing educational theories to construct a pedagogical approach which will provide student musicians with the knowledge and skill to understand the implications of the art of performance through assimilated study, allowing performers to develop their own unique style of artistic expression, and creating well-rounded, empathetic, and employable musicians who have a visceral understanding of their art form.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Education
Education > Higher education > HE pedagogies
Music > Music performance
Depositing User: Users 3908 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 10:45
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:12


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