Discernment of shades of sadness in Guarnieri's Ponteios
an interpreter perspective
Keywords:emotion communication, music perception, live performance, Ponteios, Guarnieri
Four of Guarnieri’s Ponteios for piano (numbers 11, 31, 36, and 41) bearing the expressive indication of sadness were prepared and performed live before audiences of graduate and undergraduate students (N = 63) or students belonging to a university music theory and perception extension course (N = 65). Two emotional terms were chosen by the interpreter that better described his/her conception of sadness in the piece. Categorical and prototype models were selected for guiding the selection of these terms. Sound wave profile analysis and interpretative choices by the interpreter were employed to classify the assigned emotions in terms of the bidimensional categorical model of emotion, i.e., arousal polarized (flow of the events) and valence polarized (intensity of the signal). Differences in timing highlighting (or not), dynamic contrast levels and the presence or not of a climax were shown to be characteristics that contributed to these distinctions into two groups: those bearing the composer’s indication of Triste (Sad) – Ponteios 11 and 21; and those bearing the indication of Tristemente (Sadly) – Ponteios 36 and 41, with the latter provoking relatively higher (more negative) arousal and valence.
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