CJ Replay: Non-Verbal Communication
Date: August 9, 2012
(From the Choral Journal article "Implications for Non-Verbal Communication and Conducting Gesture" by Joseph Kevin Ford)
The subject of gesture has been clearly documented as a serious matter for discussion since the first century. All societies use gestures as took for communication, but gestures do not have universal meanings. A gesture that means one thing in one society may have a completely different meaning in another. Also, one society may use gestural communication only in the most restrained manner, while other societies have an elaborate gestural repertoire.
Nonverbal communication encompasses everything from hand gestures to facial expressions and body posture. However, this article is limited to a discussion of gestures (both conscious and unconscious) of the hands and arms in general society and explores the benefits of using conducting gestures that draw upon gestures used in nonverbal communication. This is not meant to imply that the other areas of nonverbal expression are not important to the conductor. The subtle and complex subject of facial affect displayed alone has a great impact on thecommunication and the believability of conducting. It is not the intention of this study to advocate the abandonment of the traditional conducting patterns. It is merely meant to drawattention to a gestural vocabulary that may more clearly and efficiently convey the conductor's musical intent.