Cognitive Music Theory Explores Music Performance


Graduate Researcher:

Caitlyn Trevor, MA Candidate, Music Theory | School of Music.
Supported by: The Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences GRA Summer Grant Research Project

Faculty Advisors:
David Huron, Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor, Music
Maria Palazzi, Professor, Design | ACCAD

Motion Capture Pipeline:
Vita Berezina-Blackburn, Animation and Motion Capture Specialist | ACCAD
Lakshika Udakandage, MFA Design

Unity App Development:
John Luna, MFA Candidate, Dance

Performers:
Mark Rudoff, Associate Professor, Orchestral Instruments, Cello
Ann Stimson, Lecturer, Theory, Music
Evan Lynch, MM Performance | DMA Candidate, Performance
Snow Shen, MM Performance | DMA Candidate, Performance

Summary:
The purpose of this study is to test the concept that visual information can alter the perception of auditory information. In other words, musicians who alter their physical expression can affect the audio experience of their listeners. Four live musicians were recorded in the motion lab at ACCAD using both motion capture technology and audio recording technology. These performances were then animated in MotionBuilder to create two additional versions of each original capture: one with a diminished amplitude of motion and one with an augmented amplitude of motion. Using Unity, each trio of animations was combined into single videos with slides that transitioned between the three versions of each clip. Therefore, by moving the slider, one could change the amplitude of motion of the performer in real time. Participants were asked to adjust the slider to create the most musically superior performance. It was predicted that participants would adjust the slider to further than the original motion towards the augmented amplitude versions. Future written results of this study will be available on the OSU Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory website.

Trevor, C & Huron, D. “Animated performance; ‘better’ music means larger movements.” Proceedings for the International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco, CA (July 2016).
Trevor, C & Huron, D. “Animated performance; ‘better’ music means larger movements.” The International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition, San Francisco, CA (July 2016).
Trevor, C & Huron, D. “Animated performance; ‘better’ music means larger movements.” The Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Mt. Sterling, OH (September 2015).

 This study was sponsored by a grant from the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences.