La dynamique du mouvement

The MUSIC & POSTURE project (2006-2009)

Name: Postural signatures of musical performance
Type: Collaborative project
Funding: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - European Network Enactive Interfaces – Institut Universitaire de France
UM1 key researchers: Benoît Bardy
Collaborators: Marcelo Wanderly (PI), Delphine Bernardin (Univ. McGill, Canada), Tom Stoffregen (University of Minnesota, USA)

MUSIC & POSTURE is a theoretical and experimental project aiming at discovering the movement signatures underlying musical performance.


music partitionHumans (and other animals) can readily perceive a wide variety of complex physical dynamics from optical displays that preserve only the kinematic properties of events.

Examples include gender, psychological states, such as mood or the intention to deceive (Runeson & Frykholm, 1983), and properties of the animal-environment system, such as support surface deformability (Stoffregen & Flynn, 1994) and affordances (Stoffregen et al., 1999).

In this study, we seek to understand the extent to which optical kinematics (such as relative phasing between postural joints, see Bardy et al., 2002) preserve information about complex aspects of musical performance.

We are interested in the perception of instrumental performance from the point of view of a musician's gestures, both effective (those performed to generate sounds, such as blowing, bowing, plucking a string, etc.) and accompanist (e.g. torso movements in pianists).

We are studying what kinds of information are preserved in kinematic displays, such as information about performer expertise, gender, musical style, and even the recognition of a specific performer. More generally, we are studying the coupling between the “musical” melody and the “postural” melody, and are investigating how human postural dynamics (stable postural states, transitions, etc… are constrained by musical performance.


In progress – Click here [video 981 Ko] …

…to see the optical kinematics during musical performance, and try to identify who (woman, man, adult, child, beginner, expert) is playing what (instrument, piece).

When/if you find out, please let me know !

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