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OFAI-TR-2003-28 ( 1244kB g-zipped PostScript file,  2878kB PDF file)

The Role of Timing and Intensity in the Production and Perception of Melody in Expressive Piano Performance

Werner Goebl

This thesis addresses the question of how pianists make individual voices stand out from the background in a contrapuntal musical context, how they realise this with respect to the constraints of the piano keyboard construction, and finally how much each of the expressive parameters employed by the performers contributes to the perception of particular voices. Three different empirical approaches were used to investigate these questions: a study in the area of piano acoustics investigated the temporal properties of three different grand piano actions, a performance study with a Bösendorfer computer-controlled grand piano examined intensity and onset time differences between the principal voice and the accompaniment, and a series of perception studies looked at the relative effect of asynchrony and intensity variation on the perceived salience of individual tones in musical chords and real music contexts. (Extended abstract in the thesis)

Keywords: music performance, music perception, piano acoustics, listening test, melody lead, velocity artifact, computer-controlled piano

Citation: Goebl, W. (2003). The Role of Timing and Intensity in the Production and Perception of Melody in Expressive Piano Performance. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Graz, Austria.