New Publication: Effects of instructed timing and tempo on snare drum sound in drum kit performance

A new paper by fourMs researcher Anne Danielsen, Effects of instructed timing and tempo on snare drum sound in drum kit performance, has been published by the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  (PDF)


This paper reports on an experiment investigating the expressive means with which performers of groove-based musics signal the intended timing of a rhythmic event. Ten expert drummers were instructed to perform a rock pattern in three different tempi and three different timing styles: “laid-back,” “on-the-beat,” and “pushed.” The results show that there were systematic differences in the intensity and timbre (i.e., sound-pressure level, temporal centroid, and spectral centroid) of series of snare strokes played with these different timing styles at the individual level. A common pattern was found across subjects concerning the effect of instructed timing on sound-pressure level: a majority of the drummers played laid-back strokes louder than on-the-beat strokes. Furthermore, when the tempo increased, there was a general increase in sound-pressure level and a decrease in spectral centroid across subjects. The results show that both temporal and sound-related features are important in order to indicate that a rhythmic event has been played intentionally early, late, or on-the-beat, and provide insight into the ways in which musicians communicate at the microrhythmic level in groove-based musics.

Published Oct. 20, 2015 11:13 AM - Last modified June 28, 2016 11:17 AM