Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using Hollywood technology to unlock the secret of pianist's sounds

Date:
January 20, 2012
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
University of Southampton academics are pioneering a new way of using motion capture technology to examine the way pianists play the piano. By using a unique kinematic measurement technique, known as HAWK (Hand And Wrist Kinematics), researchers will be able to look at individual pianists' playing technique - giving an insight into the posture of their hands on the keys and the movements they use - hopefully showing how this translates into the unique sound they create.

University of Southampton academics are pioneering a new way of using motion capture technology to examine the way pianists play the piano.

Related Articles


By using a unique kinematic measurement technique, known as HAWK (Hand And Wrist Kinematics), researchers will be able to look at individual pianists' playing technique -- giving an insight into the posture of their hands on the keys and the movements they use -- hopefully showing how this translates into the unique sound they create.

The research will also provide new information on musicians' hand health, to combat wrist injury (for example, repetitive strain injury -- a common problem for pianists).

The project is being led by world-renowned pianist and University of Southampton Music Professor David Owen Norris and Health Sciences academic Dr Cheryl Metcalf. By using a state-of-the-art motion capture laboratory, equipped with recording technology and Vicon cameras -- the same sort of technology used in Hollywood films for special effects -- Professor Owen Norris will be able to track pianists hand movements using the motion capture cameras.

Dr Cheryl Metcalf, who designed, developed and validated the HAWK validation technique, says: "Human hand function is fascinating when you think of the variety of tasks we perform every day. However measuring human hand function is complex given the many different ways we can complete a task. Creativity is fundamental to hand function and to self-expression. HAWK analysis will enable us to understand the biomechanics of how musicians achieve their unique expressions."

Professor David Owen Norris says: "It's fascinating to watch pianists' hands. Audiences always want to see exactly what's going on with those flashing fingers, and pianists look at hands too; we argue about the best ways to make certain sounds and we compare what different players do with their fingers and their wrists.

"When I saw how Cheryl's system can analyse exactly what we're doing with our hands, I realised that together we could find the answers to some fundamental questions by making an archive of piano-playing. Pianists could appear in a dual archive of recordings and HAWK films -- we could hear the sounds they make, and we could see exactly how they make them. Our hope is that in just a few years this unique archive would acquire an international standing."

Professor Owen Norris and Dr Metcalf are trialling this technique for the University's Multidisciplinary Research Week, a programme of activities from 6 to 10 February that showcase different aspects of multidisciplinary work at the University of Southampton.

They hope they can develop the research further to build an archive of pianists playing techniques, from music students to visiting concert pianists, with the hope of establishing how technique affects sound and advise on how to avoid injury.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Using Hollywood technology to unlock the secret of pianist's sounds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120182918.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2012, January 20). Using Hollywood technology to unlock the secret of pianist's sounds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120182918.htm
University of Southampton. "Using Hollywood technology to unlock the secret of pianist's sounds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120182918.htm (accessed January 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 22, 2015) Classic children&apos;s toy Meccano has gone digital, releasing a programmable kit robot that can be controlled by voice recognition. The toymakers say Meccanoid G15 KS is easy to use and is compatible with existing Meccano pieces. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

Rumble (Jan. 22, 2015) The VueXL from VX1 is a product that you install your smartphone in and with the magic of magnification lenses, enlarges your smartphones screen so that it&apos;s like looking at a big screen TV. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Analysis: NTSB Wants Better Black Boxes

Analysis: NTSB Wants Better Black Boxes

AP (Jan. 22, 2015) NTSB investigators recommended Thursday that long-distance passenger planes carry improved technology to allow them to be found more easily in a crash, as well as include enhanced cockpit recording technology. (Jan. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins