On Time: The influence of Tempo, Structure and Style on the Timing of Grace Notes in Skilled Musical Performance
Lisse : Swets & Zeitlinger
InDesain, P.W.M.; Windsor, W.L. (ed.), Rhythm Perception and Production, pp. 217-223
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Desain, P.W.M.; Windsor, W.L. (ed.), Rhythm Perception and Production
This paper focuses upon the execution of grace notes in musical performance in an attempt to address both musicological and psychological issues related to their timing. An experiment is reported which investigates the relationship between musical structure, predictions from the performance practice literature, and the timing of eleven grace notes in a short piano piece in five repeated performances at nine different tempi. The data provide evidence against the notion that changes in overall tempo leave the relative proportion of adjacent events invariant. Grace notes with a longer mean duration tend to lengthen significantly more than would be expected if they were relationally invariant, whilst shorter grace notes were roughly invariant over tempo. The results suggest that, in addition to the performer's grasp of musical structure, both overall tempo and subtle communicative issues play important and measurable roles in determining the timing of musical events.
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