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Filling The Space: The Impact of Convolution Reverberation Time on Note Duration and Velocity in Duet Performance

The impact of reverberation on musical expressivity is an area of growing interest as technology to simulate, and create, acoustic environments improves. Being able to characterize the impact of acoustic environments on musical performance is a problem of interest to acousticians, designers of virtual environments, and algorithmic composers. We analyze the impact of convolution reverberation time on note duration and note velocity, which serve as markers of musical expressivity. To improve note clarity in situations of long reverberation times, we posit musicians performing in a duo would lengthen the separation between notes (note duration) and increase loudness (note velocity) contrast. The data for this study comprises of MIDI messages extracted from performances by 2 co-located pianists playing the same piece of music 100 times across 5 different reverberation conditions. To our knowledge, this is the largest data set to date looking at piano duo performance in a range of reverberation conditions. In contrast to prior work the analysis considers both the entire performance as well as an excerpt at the opening part of the piece featuring a key structural element of the score. This analysis ?nds convolution reverberation time is found to be moderately positively correlated with mean note duration (r = 0.34 and p =< 0.001), but no significant correlation was found between convolution reverberation time and mean note velocity (r = -0.19 and p = 0.058).

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