The effect of attentional focus on gesture and characteristics of sound at the piano

Morris Levy, Tracy Lipke-Perry, Darren Dutto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

While focus of attention (FOA) has been widely studied in athletic pursuits, it has not been in the performing arts. The purpose of this project was to determine the effects of FOA on kinematic and musical performance while pianists performed Bartók's second dance from Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56. Nine pianists participated in the study and prepared the piece. The pianists played the piece 4 times, starting with a baseline (B) performance without any instruction, and 3 subsequent times (in randomized order) focusing on 1) creating the idea of a dance (E: external focus), 2) his/her fingertips and creating a staccato (short) touch (I: internal focus), and 3) the beat of a metronome (M). To better understand the initial effect of each condition, the first note of each trial was analyzed. Using MIDI and motion capture data, musical and kinematic performance were analyzed. We observed significant differences among conditions for onset velocity, and marginal significance for note duration. Post hoc comparisons showed that internal focus yielded greater onset velocity and shorter note duration than B or E. There were no differences in kinematics as defined by the range of movement at the finger, wrist and elbow prior to the first note, but it is likely that differences will be observed across clusters of individual pianists. It was hypothesized that movements might be smallest in the internal condition and most robust in the external condition. Results suggest that each focus condition had a constraining effect on pianists' movements, although several movement strategies are apparent. These results indicate both the effect of focus but also important individual differences in approach with potential pedagogical, performance, and rehabilitative implications

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2019
PublisherCanadian Acoustical Association
ISBN (Electronic)9781999181000
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Event26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 7 2019Jul 11 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2019

Conference

Conference26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2019
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period7/7/197/11/19

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Focus
  • Gesture
  • Piano

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  • Cite this

    Levy, M., Lipke-Perry, T., & Dutto, D. (2019). The effect of attentional focus on gesture and characteristics of sound at the piano. In Proceedings of the 26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2019 (Proceedings of the 26th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, ICSV 2019). Canadian Acoustical Association.