Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Gazing Behavior and Coordination during Piano Duo Performance

Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Gazing Behavior and Coordination during Piano Duo Performance

Article excerpt

Published online: 30 October 2013

# Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Abstract This study was designed to investigate the roles of gazing behavior during piano duo performance by highlighting coordination among performers. Experiment 1 was conducted under four conditions: invisible, only the body visible, only the head visible, and face -to -face. Experiment 2 was conducted under three conditions: invisible, only the movable head visible, and only the fixed head visible. In both experiments, performers looked toward each other just before temporal changes during coordination moments, which improved synchronization accuracy. The results also showed that gazing without movement cues to some extent facilitated synchronization, although asynchrony was greater under the restrictedmovement condition than under the free-movement condition. The following results were obtained:(1)Mutual gaze is important for reducing timing lag between performers. (2)Mutual gaze modulates remarkable and arbitrary temporal expressions, such as fermata. (3)Performers may utilize movements as visual cues for strict synchronization.

Keywords Gaze . Ensemble performance . Eye movements . Coordination . Synchronization

In an ensemble, musicians collaborate with each other to achieve better performance. This is accomplished through the use of verbal, auditory, or visual cues. Verbal interaction among per- formers before a live performance plays an important role in an ensemble (e.g., Davidson & Good, 2002;Ginsborgetal.,2006; Ginsborg & King, 2012; Murnighan & Conlon, 1991). Nonetheless, once live performance begins, verbal communica- tion is restrained. Then, following performance etiquette, per- formers generally rely on sound and visual cues to communicate with coperformers. With respect to communication through auditory cues, several studies have focused on synchronization. Numerous studies have examined tapping (reviewed by Repp, 2005;Repp&Su,2013), and several other studies have inves- tigated synchronization on the music ensemble scenario. Rasch (1979) showed that the timing lag in a small instrumental ensemble is generally 30-50 ms, with the performer leading the ensemble starts playing earlier than others. Shaffer (1984) and Keller and Appel (2010) also observed a similar level of asynchrony in piano duo performance. Loehr, Large, and Palmer (2011) examined musicians' coordination of rhythmic musical sequences and suggested that oscillator-based account was favored. With respect to timing delay conditions, Bartlette Headlam, Bocko, and Velikic (2006) showed that, when laten- cies were above 100 ms, duet performers' ratings of musicality decreased and asynchrony increased. Familiarity with the piece or the performance style also influenced coordination (Keller et al., 2007). In addition, prior studies suggested that anticipation or auditory imagery of performance is essential in an ensemble (e.g., Keller & Appel, 2010; Keller et al., 2007; Pecenka & Keller, 2011;reviewedinHubbard,2010).

Various types of visual cues also arise during ensemble performance. Prior studies have predominantly demonstrated body movement among visual interactions. Woodwind duos highly interact with each other using movement cues such as body sway and nodding in order to achieve a consistent expressive goal (Davidson, 2012). Ensemble performers' sound is synchronized with the body movement of a conduc- tor (Luck & Toiviainen, 2006). Maduell and Wing (2007) analyzed flamenco performance and discussed bodily cues for performers' coordination. In terms of interperformer coor- dination during ensemble performance, recent studies have shown the importance of performers' movements, including action simulation (reviewed in by Keller, 2012;Palmer,2013). Loehr and Palmer (2011) suggested the importance of action co-presentation, in which people activate both their own and their partners' mental presentation during joint action in piano performance. …

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