Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Colin McKenzie

Advisor Department



The purpose of this study was to determine the effect body movement would have on listeners’ (N = 7) perceptions of the musical expressivity of different conducting patterns. An audio/video recording of a conductor from the University of Southern Mississippi was used for the stimulus, and listeners were asked to rate each video recording on perceived expressiveness, congruency between movement and music, and participant’s willingness to play under each conducting style. While the video portion of the stimulus changed to reflect two different conducting styles (beat centric – traditional movements that adhere to notated meter, non-beat centric – non-traditional movements that do not adhere to notated meter) and two different musical excerpts (a ballad excerpt from Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger and an excerpt from the march The Glory of the Yankee Navy by John Philip Sousa), the audio portion of the stimulus remained the same. Results indicated that the different conducting patterns did affect listeners’ ratings of perceived expressivity, enjoyment of the conducting style, and congruency between the movement and music. The different musical excerpts also affected listeners’ perceptions of musical expressivity in favor of the ballad excerpt. The sample size for this study was small, so implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.