A computational approach to studying interdependence in string quartet performance

TitleA computational approach to studying interdependence in string quartet performance
Publication TypePhD Thesis
Year of Publication2016
UniversityUnivesitat Pompeu Fabra
AuthorsPapiotis, P.
AdvisorMaestre, E., & Serra X.
Keywordsdataset, ensemble performance, Interdependence, motion capture, signal processing, string quartet
AbstractThis dissertation proposes a computational data-driven methodology to measure music ensemble interdependence - the degree to which musicians interact and influence each other’s actions in order to achieve a shared goal - using a string quartet ensemble as a case study. Combining elements from multiple disciplines, this methodology involves the acquisition of multimodal performance data under experimental conditions, the extraction of numerical features that describe the performance in terms of distinct musical dimensions (intonation, dynamics, timbre, timing), the computational estimation of interdependence for each performance dimension individually, and the assessment of the capability of listeners to perceive interdependence. Our results show that it is possible to detect interdependence in string quartet performance in different performance dimensions, as well as to compare its relative amount across different recordings and relate the results to the underlying goal of the score. The experimental data have been published online as an open research dataset.
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