Redundancy control in music performance : towards an understanding of the role of constraint satisfaction
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RU Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 17 september 2002
Promotor : Galen, G.P. van Co-promotores : Meulenbroek, R.G.J., Honing, H.J.
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We investigated two redundancy control problems related to music performance, one in computer science and one in motor control research, viz., score-performance matching and guitar fingering. In score-performance matching, a score and a performance have to be compared note by note to find the optimal correspondence between the two. There are exponentially many possible correspondences, but we found that a general algorithmic technique that uses structural information in the score performs well, although timing information is indispensable to solve some problems. Guitar fingering is a similar problem. Each note in the score must be translated into a location on the guitar fretboard where one of the left-hand fingers must stop the string to produce the required pitch. A one-to-many correspondence between score and fingers must be found, such that the required postures and movements are optimal. Our findings suggest that both biomechanical and musical constraints influence the complexity of the required movement sequence, but that professional guitarists have sophisticated strategies to cope with complex situations. We concluded that the results of the redundancy-control studies in computer music and motor control research as described in this thesis may serve a multiple purpose. The general control structure used in matching could be used as a basis for a guitar-fingering algorithm, and more insight into the difficulties of fingering on the guitar or on other instruments could be beneficial to developing a more successful matcher. Such a matcher could be tuned specifically to likely performance errors that may occur in places in the score that are marked as difficult by a fingering algorithm. Ultimately, interdisciplinary research is without a doubt more complicated than research within one discipline, but crossing disciplinary boundaries as attempted in this dissertation is in our view indispensable to generate new research questions and fruitful insights.
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