The development of a gestural vocabulary for choral conductors based on the movement theory of Rudolf Laban
AuthorBillingham, Lisa Adalade
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to create a conductor's gestural vocabulary that can be used to demonstrate stylistic elements in choral music. Specifically, the study assigned Laban Movement Theory elements of Effort and Body to specific choral music examples that demonstrate differences in articulation, rhythm and phrase shape. This study explored Laban Movement Theory and Bartenieff Fundamentals as they relate to body movement and application to the conducting gesture. Gestures were designed following musical analysis and subsequent study with Janice Meaden, an internationally recognized movement instructor and certified LMA/Bartenieff Movement Analyst. These gestures were based on Rudolf Laban's Eight Effort Elements in Combination (float, wring, glide, press, flick, dab, slash and punch). Modifications to the gestures were based from ongoing feedback from a college level choir. At the conclusion of the study, all gestures were evaluated in terms of their ability to communicate the desired response. Six of the eight designed gestures were deemed to be successful, with two needing further modification. Implications for teaching choral conducting as well as conducting choirs are drawn. Conclusions drawn from the study support the application of Laban Movement Theory to the conducting gesture as an useful tool for creating expressive conducting gestures.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance