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A parametric study of finger motions when playing the clavichord : towards characterization of expressive control.

Abstract : The clavichord is considered to be the most demanding keyboard instrument in terms of finger control. This is because of its direct mechanisms: the key works as a lever. When the finger presses the key, the tangent (metal blade) on the key’s extremity goes up and strike the string. And as long as the finger remains pressed on the key, the tangent remains in contact with the string, leading to string’s tone variation. The loudness of the sound is proportional to the velocity of the key’s displacement. Then there is a duality between loudness and pitch accuracy. This is the paradox of the clavichord. The objective of the study is to analyze experimentally the vibro-acoustical consequences of the instrument with respect to the gestural strategies of the finger. To proceed, an experimented player performs in different configurations two main gestures: the pushed and pulled gesture. A robotic finger is used to simulate different trajectories in terms of downward displacement and velocity. The study shows that the pushed and pulled gestures have opposed influences on the fundamental frequency and on the sound level. The robotic finger demonstrates that a rise in sound level without a rise in fundamental frequency is possible.
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Contributor : Christophe d'Alessandro <>
Submitted on : Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 12:56:01 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 5, 2019 - 1:32:36 AM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 4:03:18 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-02341362, version 1


Jean-Théo Jiolat, Jean-Loïc Le Carrou, Christophe d'Alessandro. A parametric study of finger motions when playing the clavichord : towards characterization of expressive control.. ISMA 2019 - International Symposium on Music Acoustics, Sep 2019, Detmold, Germany. pp.167-174. ⟨hal-02341362⟩



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