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Tuesday, July 9 • 10:50 - 11:10
IDENTIFICATION OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF A PIANIST\\\'S MOTIONS ON HIS/HER SOUND BY MEANS OF PSYCHOACOUSTIC TESTS AND MOTION CAPTURE

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For musicians, musical experts or critics, it appears obvious that the sound produced during musical performance is highly dependent on the performer's movements. If this hypothesis is easily admitted in the scientific community when the body is in direct contact with the parts of the instrument that produce the sound (strings, pipes ...), it is less obvious when the contact is through a sophisticated mechanism system as for the case of the modern piano. In first analysis, the variability of the sound seems to depend exclusively on the acceleration of the hammer induced by the finger on the key. In fact, this is an apparent contradiction because the sound of the piano, as in most other instruments, cannot be reduced to a simple sequence of notes. The variability of playing the same piece is infinite even with the use of very precise music scores. For instance, how the notes are connected (slightly superimposed) or the use of pedals are some of these variables. But can these very small timing variations allow the perception of an overall sound difference between two pianists playing the same piece ? To answer this question, an experiment has been conducted which includes acoustic pressure measurements inside and outside a concert piano, two artificial heads and motion capture of the whole body of the pianist with a focus on fingers. The aim of this experiment is to find which movements are responsible for the general impression of the sound of a pianist. This paper will focus on our first results obtained in psychoacoustics, that partially prove that the subjects identify the difference between pianists when the same musical phrase is played, but this identification decreases when pianists play different ones.

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avatar for Caroline Traube

Caroline Traube

Associate professor, University of Montreal

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Tuesday July 9, 2019 10:50 - 11:10 EDT
Outremont 7
  T14 Musical acoustic, SS03 Biomech cntrl of music instrum