Music Competitions

Reconstructing music competitions

Posted by on December 8th, 2017 | 0 comments | interactive, methodology, reading, research, text reconstruction

Do the winners of music competitions deserve to win?

Do we choose winners based on their musical performance or based on how they look?

At musical talent competitions such as American Idol, the theatrics of the performances may count more than the musical skills, according to a recent study. It would appear that people’s judgements about the quality of a musical performance are influenced more by what they see than by what they hear. The findings may be embarrassing and even shocking to music lovers. The vast majority of participants in the experiments, around 83% of both untrained participants and professional musicians, insisted at the outset that sound was their key criterion for assessing video and audio recordings of performances. Yet it wasn’t. The participants were presented with recordings of the three finalists in each of ten prestigious international competitions, and were asked to guess the winner. With just sound, or sound and video, novices and experts both guessed right at about the same level as chance (33% of the time), or a little less. But with silent video alone, the success rate for both was about 46–53%. The experts did no better than the novices.

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