October 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops     view all upcoming

  • Music Care Conference - Music Through the Lifespan, October 25, 2014, 9 am - 4:30 pm, ROSZA CENTRE, University of Calgary  LINK

  • 32nd International Conference on Psychology and the Arts, June 24-28, 2015, University of Malta, Valletta, Malta.  LINK

  • Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM) 17-22 August 2015, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. Abstract deadline 29 December 2014. NB -  Singing is one of the topic areas for submissions.  LINK

  • Shared Processing in Language and Music - What Neurocognition and Disorders Reveal, March 27th & 28th 2015, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands Extended Abstract submission deadline: October 31st 2014.  Notification of acceptance: November 30th. For more information contact splm-fgw@uva.nl  LINK

AIRS News  

  • The latest AIRS newsletter provides an update on the activities that have engaged the members of AIRS over the last months, and also includes news about our current and future research directions.  LINK 

  • Congratulations to Godfrey Baldacchino, co-leader of Sub-theme 3.1 Singing and Cultural Understanding, who has been elected President of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA)

  • Employment Opportunity:  Assistant Professor, Applied Voice, School of Creative and Performing Arts  LINK 

Recent Publications

  • The Acoustic Correlates of Valence Depend on Emotion Family. Michel Belyk, Steven Brown. Journal of Voice, Volume 28, Issue 4, July 2014, Pages 523.e9–523.e18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2013.12.007.  LINK

The voice expresses a wide range of emotions through modulations of acoustic parameters such as frequency and amplitude. Although the acoustics of individual emotions are well understood, attempts to describe the acoustic correlates of broad emotional categories such as valence have yielded mixed results. In the present study, we analyzed the acoustics of emotional valence for different families of emotion. We divided emotional vocalizations into “motivational,” “moral,” and “aesthetic” families as defined by the OCC (Ortony, Clore, and Collins) model of emotion. Subjects viewed emotional scenarios and were cued to vocalize congruent exclamations in response to them, for example, “Yay!” and “Damn!”. Positive valence was weakly associated with high-pitched and loud vocalizations. However, valence interacted with emotion family for both pitch and amplitude. A general acoustic code for valence does not hold across families of emotion, whereas family-specific codes provide a more accurate description of vocal emotions. These findings are consolidated into a set of “rules of expression” relating vocal dimensions to emotion dimensions.

  • The impact of a culture-bearer on the intercultural understanding of members of an adult community choir: A case study. Lawrence P. O'Farrell and Benjamin Bolden, Queen's University (Canada) in a presentation to BMBF-Workshop: International Perspectives of Research in Arts Education II, Sept. 16th and 17th, 2014 held at the Kunstakademie (Academy of Art) in Düsseldorf.  LINK

Global music experts such as Campbell (2004) suggest a 'culture-bearer' may be helpful in negotiating the challenges associated with learning and engaging with music from unfamiliar musical cultures and traditions. Burton (2002) describes a culture-bearer as "one raised within the culture who is a recognized practitioner of the culture's music" (p. 178). The culture-bearer approach makes sense, but also raises concerns (Vaugeois, 2009). Will the culture-bearer be able to effectively communicate with the musicians, and enable them to gain meaningful understanding of the music? Is it possible for one person, in a protracted period of time, to reasonably provide adequate knowledge of an entire musical tradition, let alone adequate knowledge of the entire culture in which the musical tradition developed? An Ontario adult community choir was recently visited by a guest conductor who taught and conducted music from the African American Gospel tradition. This qualitative case study examines the impact on choir members of working with a culture-bearer (the guest conductor) on repertoire from a particular musical tradition. Of primary interest is the intercultural understanding that choir members developed through their music making and learning in this context, and how any such development of intercultural understanding was facilitated. Qualitative data was collected through a focus group discussion and interviews with the choristers, and interviews with the guest conductor and regular conductor. Grounded theory practices informed data analysis: open coding followed by axial coding of emergent themes (Strauss & Corbin 1990). Themes beginning to emerge in this on-going study include the transmission of cultural understanding through external strategies (stories, descriptions) and internal embodiment (the personality and presence of the culture bearer).




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