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Public defence: Timing is everything - or is it?

Master Guilherme Schmidt Câmara at the Department of musicology will defend his dissertation Timing Is Everything . . . Or Is It? Investigating Timing and Sound Interactions in the Performance of Groove-Based Microrhythm for the degree of philosophiae doctor (PhD).

Doktorgradskandidat Guilherme Schmidt Câmara, vegg med teksten "det humanistiske fakultet"

Musicians often play with flexible timing to convey different desired “microrhythmic” feels in groove-based music, either by playing slightly behind, or ahead of the beat. Precise timing control is considered a hallmark of expert groove playing and can lead to the perception of different qualitative effects in performance. But how exactly do musicians achieve this? Is it simply via temporal displacement of onset locations (placing strokes late or early), or do they also manipulate other acoustic features as well? The research in this dissertation shows that “timing” is not everything in creating groove feels in performance, but in fact, musicians utilize a range of “sound” features such as duration, intensity and brightness to convey different feels. By analyzing audio recordings via from three sets of performance experiments with guitarists, bassists and drummers, it was possible to identify various timing-sound strategies both at the group and individual performer level. In sum, this research shows that both temporal and sound-related properties contribute to the production and perception of rhythm in music, providing deeper insights into the ways in which expert musicians craft grooves in performance.

This dissertation was carried out as part of the TIME project – Timing and sound in musical microrhythm at the RITMO Center for interdisciplinary studies in rhythm, time and motion.

Guilherme Schmidt Câmara successfully defended his dissertation on 17 September 2021.

Trial lecture

Time and place: 

17 September 2021, 10:15am, Harald Schjelderups hus, Forsamlingssalen

Designated topic: "How far can we predict aesthetic effects from physical properties within and beyond groove music, and what can different microrhythmic feels communicate to listeners?"

Evaluation committee

Dr. Rainer Polak, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (first opponent)

Professor Anders Friberg, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (second opponent)

Associate Professor Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen, University of Oslo (committee administrator)

Chair of the defence

Head of Department Zafer Özgen


Professor Anne Danielsen, University of Oslo

Associate Professor Kristian Nymoen, University of Oslo


Published Sep. 1, 2021 9:22 AM - Last modified Sep. 23, 2021 11:19 AM