Music conducting functions: A mixed-methods evaluation of theory and survey validity.

The study’s purpose was to examine a 6-function model of conducting using concurrent measures in 3 ensemble types. The model sorts conducting gestures into mechanical precision, expressive, motivational, psychosocial, physical technique, and unrestrained tone functions. A convenience sample of choir, orchestra, and band conductors (N = 3) at a Midwestern U.S. top-tier university consented to different levels of data collection designed to test measures by type of validity. Conducting Priorities Survey (CPS) ratings across all ensembles (N = 62) supported content and construct validity with strong subscale alpha reliabilities. Correlations between conductor CPS self-ratings, ensemble CPS average ratings, researcher observations of band and orchestra conducting, and band conductor and random band member interview content were significant and substantial, supporting concurrent validity. Strongest significant correlations among observed conducting functions demonstrate how the band conductor drew on musician-oriented functions to support music-oriented functions. Strongest significant correlations between observed band conductor functions and computerized analysis of band ensemble sound support convergent validity, and with descriptive interview content plausibly explain how a conductor functionally shaped ensemble sound. Present study findings illustrate the potential application of mixed methods and the 6-function model in future research and teaching of conducting and support the CPS as a valid accessible measurement tool. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)