Technical report from pilot studies in the Sensing Music-related Actions group. The report presents simple motion sensor technology and issues regarding pre-processing of music-related motion data.
In cognitive music research, ones main focus is the relationship between music and human beings. This involves emotions, moods, perception, expression, interaction with other people, interaction with musical instruments and other interfaces, among many other things. Due to the nature of music as a subjective experience, verbal utterances on these aspects tend to be coloured by the person who makes them. Such utterances are limited by the vocabulary of the person, and by the process of consciously transforming these inner feelings and experiences to words (Leman 2007: 5f). Thus, gesture research has become extensively popular among researchers wanting a deeper understanding of how people interact with music. In this kind of research, several different methods are used, using for example infrared-sensitive cameras (Wiesendanger et al. 2006) or video recordings in combination with MIDI (Jabusch 2006).
This paper presents methods being used in a pilot study for the Sensing Music-related Actions project at the Department of Musicology and the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo. Here I will discuss the methods for apprehending and analysing gestural data in this project, especially looking into use of sensors for measuring movement and tracking absolute position. In this project, a superior goal is to develop methods for studying gestures in musical performance. In a large view this involves gathering data, analysing the data and organizing the data in such a way that we ourselves and others easily can find and understand the data.