Performers use physical gestures in numerous ways. They can be used to communicate musical expression, generate sound production, facilitate technical movements while playing or singing, regulate temporal aspects of performance, and provide musical and social cues to co-performers and others, including audiences. Sometimes these gestures are produced deliberately, following careful choreography and rehearsal; sometimes they are produced spontaneously during performance, whether consciously or unconsciously, in response to the way the performer feels the music at that moment, wishes to ‘shape’ it or perceives the audience’s reception of the performance. In the study of Western art and popular music performance, there is increasing emphasis upon the need to understand performers’ bodily actions and physical gestures in the generation, execution and reception of music (see Davidson 2005). Various approaches to analysing and interpreting physical gestures have emerged from different perspectives, focusing, for example, on their types, functions, sources and effects.