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Repp Experiment
Imitation of Expressive Microstructure

©1999, Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT

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The following sound examples are the musical materials used in two experiments by Bruno Repp on the imitation of expressive microstructure (Repp, 2000).
(Sound files are in AIFF format and all are approximately 500K in size.)

The musical excerpt is the opening of Chopin's Etude in E major, op. 10, No. 3. In Experiment 1, 13 model performances were presented whose expressive characteristics were derived from a previous principal components analysis of the timing and dynamics of 115 expert performances (Repp, 1998, 1999). One model, T0/D0, instantiates typical expressive timing and dynamics, correponding to the grand average timing and dynamic patterns of the 115 performances. Six models (T1, T2, T4, T12, T14, T24) differ in timing only, with the dynamic pattern fixed at D0, and six models (D1, D4, D5, D14, D15, D45) differ in dynamics only, with the timing pattern fixed at T0. Models T1, T2, and T4 correspond to principal components in the earlier timing analysis (Repp, 1998) and thus are mutually uncorrelated. Models T12, T14, and T24 are the pairwise averages of T1, T2, and T4. Models D1, D4, and D5 correspond roughly to principal components in the earlier dynamics analysis (Repp, 1999), though they have been mixed with D0 in a 2:1 ratio because they seemed too exaggerated in their "pure" forms; thus they are mildy intercorrelated. Models D14, D15, and D45 are the pairwise averages of D1, D4, and D5. In Experiment 2, 9 models were used which represented all possible combinations of three timing paterns (T1, T2, T4) and three dynamic patterns (D1, D4, D5). The exact procedure of generating the models is described in Repp (2000). All models have been realized on a Yamaha Clavinova CLP-611 digital piano with "Piano 1" sound.

To hear any of the models, click below:


T1 T2 T4 T12 T14 T24
D1 D4 D5 D14 D15 D45

T1D1 T1D4 T1D5 T2D1 T2D4 T2D5 T4D1 T4D4 T4D5


Repp, B. H. (1998). A microcosm of musical expression: I. Quantitative analysis of pianists' timing in the initial measures of Chopin's Etude in E major. Journal of the Accoustical Society of America, 104, 1085-1100.

Repp., B. H. (1999). A microcosm of musical expression: II. Quantitative analysis of pianists' dynamics in the initial measures of Chopin's Edtude in E major. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 105, 1972-1988.

Repp, B. H. (2000). Pattern typicality and dimensional interactions in pianists' imitation of expressive timing and dynamics. Manuscript submitted for publication.