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OFAI-TR-2002-14 ( 32kB g-zipped PostScript file,  46kB PDF file)

Pinpointing the Beat: Tapping to Expressive Performances

Simon Dixon, Werner Goebl

In this study we report on an experiment in which listeners were asked to tap in time with expressively performed music, and compare the results to two other experiments using the same stimuli which investigated beat and tempo perception through other modalities. Many computational models of beat tracking assume that beats correspond with the onset of musical notes; we consider the hypothesis that the beat times are rather given by a curve that is ``smoother'' than the tempo curve of the note onset times, which nevertheless can be derived from the onset times. The tapping results show a tendency to underestimate the tempo changes, which supports the smoothing hypothesis, and agrees with listening experiments and other tapping studies.

Keywords: Computer music, Rhythm, Expressive performance, Beat tracking

Citation: To appear in Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Sydney, Australia, July 2002.