In musical ensembles such as piano duets, jazz trios, string quartets, rock groups, samba bands, and drum circles, there is no stable reference for performance timing, and musicians must time and synchronise their performance with each other. This project will expand the neuroscientific understanding of how humans synchronise with each other during ensemble music production.
The project will be linked with and run alongside the EPSRC-funded http://arme-project.co.uk. It will involve both an experimental component and a data science component to generate an agent-based computational synchronisation model. The student will access and analyse data from a database of hundreds of audio-visual performances of quartets, trios, and duets provided by a commercial partner. The student will further be able to collect data by running a small number of performance recordings to tackle specific theoretical questions.
Taking inspiration from the discrete timing models of Wing and Kristofferson (1973) and the linear correction model of Vorberg and Schultz (2002) developed in finger-tapping performance, the student will build a new type of synchronisation model using continuous probability distributions and statistically-optimal estimators (e.g., Jacoby, McDermott, 2017).
Wing, Alan M., and Alfred B. Kristofferson. “Response delays and the timing of discrete motor responses.” Perception & Psychophysics 14.1 (1973): 5-12
Vorberg, D., & Schulze, H.-H. (2002). Linear phase-correction in synchronization: Predictions, parameter estimation, and simulations. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 46(1), 56–87
Jacoby, Nori, and Josh H. McDermott. “Integer ratio priors on musical rhythm revealed cross-culturally by iterated reproduction.” Current Biology 27.3 (2017): 359-370
The fellowship is provided by the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership on the theme of Neuroscience.
The competition is open to both home and international students