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  • How does the presence of an audience affect the performance of a musician?
    Triplett (1898)

    found that the presence of others seems to boost our performance (cyclists racing times, adolescents winding a fishing reel)
    He later found that it wasn't just an effect of "competition" - subjects' performance improved simply by having someone "oversee" their attempts

    Social Facilitation

    the tendency for people to perform better when in the presence of other people

    EXAMPLE of Social Facilitation

    Towler (1986) - after a traffic light turns green, drivers take 15% less time to travel the first 100 yards when another car is beside them at the intersection.

    The presence of other people can also inhibit performance.
    Robert Zajonc (1965)

    Suggested that the presence of other people causes arousal.
    This arousal strengthens the most likely response
    For things that are easy and well-learned, arousal causes us to perform these tasks more quickly and accurately.
    For tasks that are difficult and less well-learned, arousal causes us to perform these tasks less quickly and less accurately.

    The presence of other people can also inhibit performance.
    Michaels et al (1982)

    Expert pool players who made 71% of their shots when alone, made 80% when four people came to watch them.
    Poor pool players, who made 36% of their shots when alone, made only 25% when watched

    Experienced musicians playing songs they know well .....

    performance will probably be BETTER playing in front of a crowd than when practicing alone

    Novice musicians, or experienced musicians playing a new tune or new style they don't know well....

    will have performance suffer when in front of crowd

    Nickolas Cottrell - Evaluation Apprehension theory

    If there are people present that we believe are likely to be hostile or critical in their evaluation of us, performance will likely suffer.
    If there are people present that we believe to be supportive and friendly, especially for something easy and well-learned, we will likely perform better.

    The difference with Zajonc's theory to Cottrell's theory is essentially just what's actually causing the arousal?

    the mere presence of people (Zajonc) or the idea that they are evaluating us (Cottrell).

    Stage Fright (aka performance anxiety)

    anxiety caused by the presence of an audience
    Not rare - up to 50% of students and performing musicians report high degrees of performance anxiety.
    Not necessarily associated with size of audience, but by likelihood that they will critically evaluate performance.

    Musicians report that the most anxiety-inducing situation is typically ??

    the audition - audience is small, but highly evaluative

    Stage fright seems to affect performance because?

    the arousal caused by the audience exceeds the level at which arousal causes good performance

    Yerkes-Dodson Law of Arousal

    Suggests that there is an OPTIMAL level of arousal that leads to optimum performance.
    If arousal level is too high or too low, your performance won't be optimal.

    Fears associated with performing? Main fear?

    Main fears seems to be fear of humiliation and disgrace coming from messed-up performance.

    Osborne & Kenny (2008) and fears associated with performing?

    298 adolescents wrote about worst experience in a music performance - what happened, how they felt, their age, who the audience was
    RESULTS regarding cognitions:
    60% of subjects reported a fear of being negatively evaluated by others, and a negative self-evaluation

    Treatments for stage fright?

    Beta-blockers - lower person's arousal level (but this can lower arousal level too far and make performance "lackluster").

    Cognitive - behavioral therapy - addresses problem instead of just symptom.
    Adjusts a person's way of thinking about the performance situation.
    Can lead to reduced anxiety levels and more optimal arousal levels.

    Lempert & Bauer (1995) effect of Performers on Audience

    Investigated cases of audience members fainting
    Authors hung out with first-aid workers at New Kids on the Block concert.
    400 people (all girls between 11-17) fainted
    Interviewed 40 regarding causes of fainting
    40% reported syncope - loss of consciousness with loss of postural tone, followed by spontaneous return to consciousness

    Lempert & Bauer (1995) Results

    RESULTS: Fainting caused by hyperventilation
    Some were overcome by emotion (seeing their idols!)
    Most did not report being overcome by emotion, but did report rise in anxiety from feeling, squeezed, trapped, and choked in middle of the crowd
    Most fainters were right next to the stage, with fans pushing and trying to get as close to the performers as possible.

    Most fainters reported other syncope-provoking factors as well

    Sleeplessness the night before
    Not eating since early in the morning when they lined up for show
    Long periods of standing in arena
    EXTENDED SCREAMING also played a role, however!

    Being in the presence of a performing musician leads to a different experience than simply listening to a recording
    Schutz & Lipscomb (2007)

    Investigated subjects' perception of tone durations when watching a marimba player make either short and swift gestures or long and graceful gestures (compared to simply listening to performance)
    Subjects perceived lengths of tones differently when they could see performer.

    Being in the presence of a performing musician leads to a different experience than simply listening to a recording
    Dahl & Friberg(2007)

    Had subjects watch and rate silent video clips of musiciansperforming the emotional intensions: Happy, Sad, Angry, and Fearful
    Watching marimba player: happy, sad, angry were well communicated
    With sax and bassoon players: happy, sad, angry again recognized

    Researchers found that performers share a common body language in conveying these emotions musically
    Slow and smooth movements convey sadness
    Jerky movements convey anger
    Much movement and fast movements convey happiness
    Visual information in performance especially important for musically untrained listeners (Davidson, 1995)

    Like any social situation, attending a performance has certain social rules and conventions
    Formal Audiences (classical, opera)

    Stagebill magazine's 10 Golden Rules of concert etiquette
    Other rules:
    Sit in assigned seat and be sure to be seated before music starts.
    Attire more casual in recent decades (business casual / smart casual fairly standard)
    Silence during piece is expected
    Wasn't always that way - people would chat, eat, clap
    Gustav Mahler was first to start discouraging applause between movements - now considered a faux pas

    Participating audience
    Jazz shows

    Completely acceptable to have quiet conversation during performance
    Expected to applaud after each musician's extended solo

    Participating audience
    Pop/Rock shows

    Singing along VERY common
    Audience screams, claps, stands during popular songs
    Dress is very casual
    Certain types of musical shows (e.g. metal, punk) have mosh pits where people run around and plow into each other

    Music can affect consumer behavior without the consumer even being aware of it. Wine Purchase
    North, Hargreaves & McKendrick (1997)

    Played French or German music in background as customers milled around grocery store. 4 French wines / 4 German wines displayed in drink section of market. Prices, quality, and dryness/sweetness of wines matched. Asked shoppers to complete questionnaire after shopping
    French wine outsold German wine when French music played
    German wine outsold French wine when German music played
    Subjects responded that French music made them think of France and German music made them think of German
    HOWEVER, only 6 of the 44 subjects responded "yes" to question, "Did the type of music playing influence your choice of wine?"
    Customers did not seem aware of the effect music had on selection

    Effect of Music on Evaluation of Restaurant
    North & Hargreaves (1998)

    Played 3 musical styles (classical, pop, easy-listening) and silence at a student cafeteria over 4 days. Investigated how music affected perceived characteristics of cafeteria and how it affected students' purchase intentions. Gave students questionnaires during visit.
    Perception of cafeteria varied with type of music played.
    When pop music played, cafeteria perceived as fun and upbeat.
    When classical music played, cafeteria rated as more sophisticated and "upmarket".
    When easy-listening music played, cafeteria rated as cheap and "downmarket".
    Students were willing to pay most for cafeteria items when classical music was playing, followed by pop, easy-listening, and silence.

    Effect of Music on Consumer Behavior: Sales Volume and Traffic Flow
    Milliman (1982)

    Varied music in supermarket (slow, fast, silence)
    Measured how long it took shoppers to pass between two particular points in the market. Measured sales volume
    Traffic flow significantly slower with slow tempo music (127.53 sec) than for faster music (108.93 sec).
    Sales volume were consistently associated with slower temp music than with faster tempo music (38.2% difference).

    Effect of Music on Consumer Behavior: Sales Volume and Traffic Flow
    Milliman (1986)

    Found that slower tempo music also led to longer RESTAURANT stays

    Effect of Music on Restaurant Spending
    North, Shilcock & Hargreaves (2003)

    Varied music in high-quality restaurant (classical, pop, silence).
    Upper-middle class clientele
    Time spent in restaurant
    Money per person spent on starters, main courses, desserts, coffee, bar drinks, wine. Overall drink bill, food bill, and total spent.

    Classical pieces all very well known (e.g. Vivaldi's Four Seasons; Strauss's Emperor Waltz). Pop music well known songs from mid-80s to current(e.g. Britney Spears' "Crazy"; Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon"; Ricky Martin's "Living La Vida Loca").

    People spent consistently more per person on starters and coffee, and had a higher total spent on food and total overall spending when classical music was played.

    Gender Differences in Music

    More women in strings and woodwind sections

    More men playing double bass, tuba, sousaphone

    Gender Differences in Music
    Gender stereotypes tend to start by time child starts music lessons

    Music typically regarded as more "feminine" subject for children.

    In Western culture (O'Neill & Boulton, 1996)
    flutes, violins, clarinets viewed appropriate for girl
    drums, guitar, trumpet viewed appropriate for boy.

    Research indicates that you can change children's gender stereotypes a bit (Harrison & O'Neill, 2000).
    Increase girl's attraction to guitar by observing female guitarist. Increase boy's attraction to piano by observing male pianist.

    HOWEVER, girl's attraction to piano decreased by observing male pianist and boy's attraction to guitar decreased by observing female guitarist. Girls may be more willing to consider a counter-stereotypical instrument than boys (Pickering & Repachili, 2001)

    Are Gender Stereotypes Changing?
    Orchestras ?


    Are Gender Stereotypes Changing?

    Not so much
    Far fewer females play jazz in high school and college (McKeage, 2004).
    A far lower percentage of females continue playing jazz once they get to college.

    This study, as well as Wehr-Flowers (2006) found that female jazz musicians lacked confidence in, and are more anxious about, their improvisational skills than males are.

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