Seminar at Speech, Music and Hearing:
On the beat: Human movement and timing in the production and perception of music
Opponent: Prof David Huron, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
AbstractThis thesis addresses three aspects of movement, performance and perception in
music performance. First, the playing of an accent, a simple but much used and
practiced element in drumming is studied, second, the perception of gradually
changing tempo, and third, the perception and communication of specific
emotional intentions through movements during music performance.
Papers I and II investigated the execution and interpretation of an accent in
drumming, performed under different playing conditions. Players' movements,
striking velocities and timing patterns were studied for different tempi,
dynamic levels and striking surfaces. It was found that the players used
differing movement strategies and that interpreted the accent differently,
reflected in their movement trajectories. Strokes at higher dynamic levels were
played from a greater average height and with higher striking velocities. All
players initiated the accented strokes from a greater height, and delivered the
accent with increased striking velocity compared to the unaccented strokes. The
interval beginning with the accented stroke was also prolonged, generally by
delaying the following stroke. Recurrent cyclic patterns were found in the
players' timing performances. In a listening test, listeners perceived grouping
of the strokes according to the cyclic patterns.
Paper III concerned the perception of gradual tempo changes in auditory
sequences. Using an adaptive test procedure subjects judged stimuli consisting
of click sequences with either increasing or decreasing tempo, respectively.
Each experiment included three test sessions at different nominal tempi (80,
120, and 180~beats per minute). The results showed that ten of the eleven
subjects showed an inherent bias in their perception of tempo drift. The
direction and magnitude of the bias was consistent between test sessions but
varied between individuals. The just noticeable differences for
tempo drift agreed well with the estimated tempo drifts in production data, but
were much smaller than earlier reported thresholds for tempo drift.
Paper IV studied how emotional intent in music performances is conveyed to
observers through the movements of the musicians. Three players of marimba,
bassoon, and saxophone respectively, were filmed when playing with the
expressive intentions Happiness, Sadness, Anger and Fear. Observers rated the
emotional content and movement cues in the videos clips shown without sound.
The results showed that the observers were able to identify the intentions
Anger, and Happiness, but not Fear. The rated movement cues showed that an Angry
performance was characterized by jerky movements, Happy performances by large,
and somewhat fast and jerky movements, and Sad performances by slow, and smooth
For more information, see Web link
10:00 - 13:00
Thursday September 29, 2005
The seminar is held in Salongen, KTHB, Osquars backe 31.
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