Phase Correction in Simulated-Ensemble Timing


Interpersonal timing is important for creating a cohesive music performance in small ensembles without a conductor. Wing et al. (2014) proposed that phase correction underlies ensemble timing in classical quartet performance. They described two professional quartets whose correction gain values were close to optimal, in the sense of minimising asynchrony variances. To investigate whether the level of timing adjustments phase correction changes depending on other player’s phase correction and leadership roles, we simulated a quartet (two violins, a viola, and a cello) performing a homophonic Haydn excerpt. Three virtual players synchronised their note onset times to each other and to the participant finger tapping on a MIDI drum pad with a first order Linear Phase Correction Model. In two experiments, participants (either musicians or non-musicians) produced (i.e. tapped) either the notes of the first or second violin part. In different trials, we set the phase correction parameters for the other violin to either under or over correct to the participant. We also set timekeeper noise either higher or lower than the other virtual players. Our results show that the participant’s timing correction changes according to the correction of the virtual violinist,but not according to the level of noises. Participants show higher dependency when the other violin corrects less and vice versa, congruently with the hypothesis of close-to optimal correction of the ensemble.

Rhythm Perception and Production Workshop 2023