Aural and visual information have been shown to affect audience evaluations of music performance (Griffiths, 2010; Juslin, 2000); however, it is not fully understood which modality has the greatest relative impact upon judgements of performance or if the evaluator’s musical expertise mediates this effect. An opportunity sample of thirty-four musicians (8 male, 26 female Mage = 26.4 years) and 26 nonmusicians (6 male, 20 female, Mage = 44.0 years) rated four video clips for technical proficiency, musicality, and overall performance quality using 7-point Likert scales. Two video performances of Debussy’s Clare de lune (one professional, one amateur) were used to create the four video clips, comprising two clips with congruent modality information, and two clips with incongruent modality information. The incongruent clips contained the visual modality of one quality condition with the audio modality of the other. It was possible to determine which modality was most important in participants’ evaluative judgements based on the modality of the professional quality condition in the clip that was rated most highly. The current study confirms that both aural and visual information can affect audience members’ experience of musical performance. We provide evidence that visual information has a greater impact than aural information on evaluations of performance quality, as the incongruent clip with amateur audio + professional video was rated significantly higher than that with professional audio + amateur video. Participants’ level of musical expertise was found to have no effect on their judgements of performance quality.

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