Spontaneous Gesture and the Ensemble
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Spontaneous Gesture and the Ensemble book
Some musicians maintain that a detailed planning of gestures has little value and that if the conductor knows the score thoroughly, gestures will follow automatically. When a conductor uses a gesture to express a musical idea, what is the connection between hand and mind? When a singer draws on the musical background they share with the conductor to respond to that gesture, what is the connection between their understanding and their performed sounds? What is going on when a conductor holds the music 'in his hand'? The chapter presents the work of gesture theorist David McNeill to help answer these questions. It focuses on two main concepts. The first, the 'growth point', helps to understand how the act of gesturing participates in the act of thinking. The second, 'inhabitance', deals with the way that people share ideas in interpersonal interactions. The notion of inhabitance also provides a mechanism for the creation and maintenance of gestural traditions.