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Michael F. Schober (Intervention)
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Michael F. Schober. CNRS_Pouchet. (2015, 5 novembre). How much do jazz improvisers share understanding with each other and with their listeners? , in Joint Improvisation Meeting (JIM) 2015. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 26 février 2024)

How much do jazz improvisers share understanding with each other and with their listeners?

Réalisation : 5 novembre 2015 - Mise en ligne : 5 novembre 2015
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To what extent do collaborating improvisers understand what they are doing in the same way as each other? And to what extent do their listeners understand the improvisation in the same way as the performers? This talk reviews evidence from two case studies (with Neta Spiro and Amandine Pras) of piano saxophone duos, one improvising three versions of a jazz standard (“It Could Happen to You”) and one carrying out an extended free jazz improvisation. In both studies, immediately afterwards the performers were separately interviewed, from memory and prompted by audio recordings, about their detailed characterizations of the performances. Outside listeners (expert musicians in the same genres) were also interviewed for their characterizations. Later, the performers and outside listeners rated the extent to which they endorse danonymized versions of statements by all participants, based on close relistening to the recordings. 239 internet listeners also rated their levels of endorsement of the jazz standard characterizations. In both cases, performers endorsed statements they themselves had generated most often, but they endorsed statements by an outside listener more than their performing partner’s statements. Overall levels of agreement among the performers were greater than chance but quite low. Among the 239 listeners to the jazz standard improvisations, only a very small number agreed with the performers’ characterizations at a level greater than chance. The implication is that fully shared understanding of what happened is not essential for successful joint improvisation, and that performers’ interpretations are not necessarily privileged relative toan outsider’s.


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