TR #475: "Analysis of Affective Musical Expression with the Conductor's Jacket

Teresa Marrin and Rosalind W. Picard

Proceedings of the XII Colloquium on Musical Informatics, 1998
Gorizia, Italy

The Conductor's Jacket is a wearable physiological monitoring system that has been built into the clothing of an orchestral conductor; it was designed to provide a testbed for the study of emotional expression as it relates to musical performance. We used the Conductor's Jacket to gather and analyze data from a professional conductor in Boston during rehearsals of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suite No.2. Our findings indicate that several forms of expressive communication can be measured and detected in physiological signals. These include the use of handedness to emphasize musical changes, the signaling of upcoming events with sudden changes in effort, the difference between information-bearing and non-information-bearing gestures, the indication of intensity and loudness with changes in muscular force, and the use of breathing to express phrasing in the music.

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