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OFAI-TR-2004-06 ( 539kB g-zipped PostScript file,  1579kB PDF file)

Exploring expressive performance strajectories: Six famous pianists play six Chopin pieces

Werner Goebl, Elias Pampalk, Gerhard Widmer

This paper presents an exploratory approach to analyzing large amounts of expressive performance data. Tempo and loudness information was derived semi-automatically from audio recordings of six famous pianists each playing six complete pieces by Chopin. The two-dimensional data was segmented into musically relevant phrases, normalized, and smoothed in various grades. The whole data set was clustered using a novel computational technique (i.e., aligned self-organizing maps) and visualized via an interactive user interface. Detailed cluster-wise statistics across pianists, pieces, and phrases gave insights into individual expressive strategies as well as common performance principles.

Keywords: Expressive Music Performance, Artificial Intelligence, Aligned Self-Organizing Maps, Visualization, Clustering

Citation: Goebl, W., Pampalk, E., and Widmer, G. (2004). “Exploring expressive performance strajectories: Six famous pianists play six Chopin pieces.” In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC8), Evanston, IL, CD-ROM, Causal Productions, Adelaide, pp. 505--509.