Infographic: Modeling Multimodal Interaction in Orchestra Rehearsals

I recently designed a graphic for a paper by Hartmut Stöckl and Monika Messner, who have been studying the complexities of multimodal interaction in orchestra rehearsals.

The abstract reads: “Using multimodal (inter)action/conversation analysis, the present contribution inventories the repertoire of higher-level actions that constitute musical instruction in orchestra rehearsals. The study describes the modal complexity of the instructional actions as built from a varied combination of speech, gesture, gaze, vocalizing and body posture/movement. A high modal intensity of speech and vocalizing is explained with recourse to their contextually useful modal reaches. While some modes, like vocalizing and body posture appear to be action-specific, others turn out to be pervasive default modes. Besides modal intensity, the study also attends to the transitioning between higher-level actions through gaze and the role of the score as frozen action. The analyses help demystify orchestra rehearsals as a special type of professional communicative interaction, which builds on a rich multimodal texture motivated by recurring instructional functions. The methodological rationale demonstrated will be suited to exploring the social variation of instructional interaction in orchestra rehearsals.”

Working on the graphic was great fun – I like its clean look and feel, the colour palette and the playable tune. Also, Hartmut and Monika’s paper taught me a lot about multimodal interaction analysis, an area that I am unfortunately still less familiar with.

Have a look for yourselves: Tam pam pam pam and mi – fa – sol: constituting musical instructions through multimodal interaction in orchestra rehearsals. Also, check out Hartmut’s post on the paper.

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