The body in musical negotiations



Gestures are used in the interaction between musicians in several distinct ways: in performance and rehearsals as a manner of communicating and synchronizing musical structure (McCaleb, 2014), but also in musical negotiations as a powerful persuasive tool. In the following video, director Lars Ulrik Mortensen suggests a phrasing of the opening bars of 'Sancho punished' following the typical structure of the Gavotte, with short articulation of the upbeat (see my discussion of this phrasing in V1aT3 'The Mean Gavotte' above). I have a different idea and try to persuade the players and Lars Ulrik through demonstrating the 'good' and 'bad' versions in gestures. Lars Ulrik agrees with the idea of long and 'mean' upbeats and he demonstrates it again with gesture. But what he persuasively demonstrated before as a bad idea, he can also easily 'sell' as a good idea through his gestures.

This can lead to the conclusion that a logically conceived articulation is not by itself communicative. It is the enactment of the narrative intention in the body movements that seems to make the articulation meaningful in the moment of negotiation or performance.



Vid. 1 'Gestural negotiations'.







Back to video essay V1a