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[Xmca-l] Re: Intonation and Gesture


Thank you for sharing this and past posts. I'd like to preface this with
a, "long time listener, first time caller" type of statement... as I was
only recently (re)added to the list after a multiyear recess.

I didn't take a deep look at the video but with slow down motion, I think
your graduate student will see that there are a variety of gestures that
occur "at the same time" in sync with the conductor (as well as with her
rhythmic needs) - analogue style, right? So in many cases she IS hitting
rhythmic beats for HER notes... Look at the final or most important
"strokes" as David McNeill has termed them. She goes high for intonation
but then fingers or hand will often hit the most important point (rhythmic
point) of the phrase (while arm is extended). This is often coupled with a
"beat" stroke too. Sometimes, she does coordinate with the conductor but
we can't see the final lower stroke because of the limitations of the
camera... Unfortunately, the camera person does not seem too intent in
capturing the entire corporeal manifestation of the singing. What I'm
quite certain about is that during those down hand beat motions, she and
the conductor would be coordinated at their stop within fractions of a
second... We wouldn't be able to tell where they differed unless we break
it down past 1/10 - 1/40 of a second but other data analysis has shown
that they would have looked very coordinated, especially in those downward

So interestingly, it possible that she may be presenting purpose and
communication for multiple reasons using multiple modalities in an
embodied and prosodic way (intertwined); including melodic and rhythmic
expressions as well as the public/private message ensemble - nothing new
for Vygotsky people :) So her "conflicts" are purposeful as well in
meeting her needs and are interesting to study - as you noted. I agree
with you and your grad. Student's observations of the el. ed. children.

Just some brainstorming - thanks for sharing.

Alex Rosborough
Brigham Young University

On 4/7/14 3:29 PM, "David Kellogg" <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> One of my graduate students has been studying the way in which
>children use their hands when they speak English.
>We started with the observation that fourth and fifth graders will
>gesture copiously when they speak, but fifth and sixth graders, when
>you ask them to perform a dialogue in front of the class, will come
>out and lock their hands behind their backs, apparently to prevent
>themselves from gesticulating. Sure enough, their delivery is far more
>flat in intonation. When we ask them to unlock their hands, there is a
>notable improvement in intonation.
>This morning I was looking at Natalie Dessaye rehearsing the mad scene
>from "Lucia de Lammermoor". She gesticulates a LOT. But you can see
>that her gesticulations are not at all mad--when her voice has to go
>high, she puts her hand way over her head. When she has to go low, she
>places her hand low.
>Her "conducting" actually conflicts with that of the conductor,
>because of course it's melodic and not rhythmic. But it's effective;
>it produces that exquisite sense of "bloom" in her high notes. It's
>not exactly what my students are doing, but it's close!
>David Kellogg
>Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> .