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The effect of music performance anxiety, context, modality and observers' music expertise on judgment of musical performances
DisciplineMusic, Mind and Technology (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Music, Mind and Technology
Music Performance Anxiety (MPA) is known to affect musicians at different levels. Recent studies have shown that anxiety can induce changes in non-verbal behaviours, and that non-verbal behaviours could affect perception and production of a musical performance. However, it remains unclear how effectively cues associated with MPA are perceived via different modalities (audiovisual, audio-only & video-only). The present study aims to investigate the impact of MPA, performing contexts and modalities on the observers’ ratings of expressivity, performance quality and inner state, and whether these ratings would be affected by the observer’s level of music expertise. Eight performers completed the revised Kenny Music Performance Anxiety Inventory (K-MPAI) and were also recorded performing a repertoire of their choice in both the presence and absence of an audience. Excerpts of the performances were presented to 53 observers in the three modalities. Observers were asked to rate the excerpts in terms of expressivity, performance quality and the performer’s inner state. The main findings included: 1) Anxiety impaired expressivity and performance quality ratings, especially in the video-only condition; 2) The high-anxious performers were susceptible to trait anxiety, while the mid-anxious and low-anxious performers were effected by the performing context; 3) The high-anxious performers were perceived as being the most anxious in the audiovisual and video-only conditions; 4) The low-anxious performers were perceived as being the most anxious in the audio-only condition, although this finding may have been affected by the acoustic properties of the music; 5) Visual cues seemed to be more dominant in perceiving expressivity and anxiety, while auditory cues played a more important role in performance quality evaluation; 6) Musical training affected assessment of expressivity and performance quality but not the perception of anxiety. The results highlight the importance of visual and auditory cues in performance evaluation, and provide practical implications for online and blind auditions. ...
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