Effect of conductor expressivity on ensemble evaluations by nonmusic majors

Harry E. Price*, Alison Mann, Steven Morrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study continues research that examines effects that conductors have on the assessment of ensemble performances. The current study used the same four recordings orders of two strict and two expressive examples by two conductors with a single repeated recording used in previous research, but the participants were not music majors. In addition to assessing the conductor and ensemble performances, they were asked to list one item each for each excerpt regarding the conductor and ensemble being evaluated. Results similar to those from the previous research were found in this study: there was a difference in the conductors' evaluations. However, there was a difference in the ensemble ratings, depending on the conductor style, even though it was the identical audio performance. The eta-squared values for the four orders ranged from.444 to.567. Effect sizes for the ensembles were smaller, as expected, but still consequential,.121 to.450. Comments provided by students indicate a strong relationship of strict and expressive conducting to involvement/leadership and gesture. We need to consider what effect conductors might have on our perception of musical quality or the effect the performance has on assessment of the conductor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014


  • audio assessment
  • conductor
  • ensemble
  • expressivity
  • perception
  • video assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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