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Generative Processes in MusicThe Psychology of Performance, Improvisation, and Composition$
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John Sloboda

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198508465

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198508465.001.0001

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Timing and synchronization in ensemble performance

Timing and synchronization in ensemble performance

(p.70) 4 Timing and synchronization in ensemble performance
Generative Processes in Music

Rudolf A. Rasch

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the problem of synchronization in musical performance, that is, how musicians manage to co-ordinate their own temporal structures with those of the other performers in such a way that the temporal structures actually match each other and fuse into one common temporal structure. It reports many intriguing results, including the finding that musicians achieve better synchrony at faster speeds than at slower speeds. It seems that a degree of asynchrony increases the perceptual clarity of individual lines, even though listeners are not consciously aware of quite large degrees of asynchronization in musical performance. This chapter provides an elegant mathematical justification for the fact that an ensemble of more than ten players tends to need a conductor, while smaller groups do not.

Keywords:   ensemble performance, synchronization, conductor, asynchronization

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