Online Learning

Which of


Which of

the following is true about audience members’ perception of a live musical performance?

A) Audiences perceive little expressive information from visual observations of performers’ bodies.

B) Visual aspects of performance heavily influence the perception of all audience members, including trained musicians.

C) Visual performance aspects are important to popular music audiences but not classical music audiences.

D) Among all listeners, performers’ bodily gestures are not nearly as communicative as their musical sounds.

event, carnival, or fair and come across a live musical performance.
Although the music might be a style that you would not listen to on
your own time, the live performance may be so engaging that you
feel compelled to take it in. Although musical skills may be the most
important criteria on which musicians are judged (see chapters 1, 4,
and 5), visual aspects of live performances are also very influential
on audiences. First Impressions In many social settings, people make judgments about other people
based on how they look. This is true when audience members
observe musicians in a performance. Research has shown that
listeners’ opinions about the musical quality of a performance are
influenced by performers’ physical appearances. For example, North
and Hargreaves (1997b) had college students listen to original pop
music while, for each excerpt, viewing a picture of a musician who
was presented as the composer and performer. The listeners
responded more favorably to the same music when they believed it
was created by a physically attractive musician than by an
unattractive one. Pieces allegedly by attractive performers were
better liked and judged as reflecting greater artistic merit,
sophistication, and intelligence. Similarly, Davidson and Coimbra
(2001) documented the importance of physical appearance in the
assessment of singers in a music college setting. Wapnick and colleagues (Wapniclc, Darrow, Kovacs, 8: Dalrymple, 1997; Wapnick, Kovacs Mazza, E: Darrow, 1998, 2000)
conducted a series of studies that used musicians as evaluators (see
also chap_ter 11, section on music critics and jurors). These studies
also expanded beyond physical attractiveness to consider other
factors of what is commonly called stage presence, namely, dress
and stage behavior. The performers being judged—singers,
violinists, and pianists, respectively—showed great variability in the
formality of their attire, despite their being instructed to dress for a
recital or audition. They also exhibited diverse body language and
stage mannerisms. In general, these studies reported higher
appraisals of music performance for musicians who rated high in the
categories of attractiveness, dress, and stage behavior. These
findings suggest that how musicians take the stage is as important as
the quality of their music. Performers may win over an audience,
at least in part, based on their physical appearance and on their
ability to signal confidence through body carriage, smiling, and eye
contact with the audience. of course, the types of stage behaviors and appearance valued
by judges and audiences vary depending on the musical genre and
cultural context. Performance etiquette is determined in large part
by sociocultural norms. Within Western classical music the
expectation is formal attire, such as a dark coat and tie for men and
an evening dress for women [black if they are playing in an
orchestra; see figure 9.1 for a different approach). When walking on
stage, a soloist is expected to greet the audience through facial

Which of