The Aesthetics of Music and Sound -              

Cross-Disciplinary Interplay between the Humanities, Technology and Musical Practice    


Project Descriptions




4. Practice-based Research


h) Technological and Aesthetic Investigations of the Physical Movements of Pianists


Video and explanatory text published on YouTube on 31/07/2012 by .





This project integrates the fields of artistic performance, pedagogy, advanced technology and philosophy. It focuses specifically on pianists playing classical music. The pilot study seeks to discover whether or not, and to what extent, certain teaching approaches that have seemed like "best practices" in the music studio can now be verified as such scientifically, by measuring changes in body movement and gesture.

Research team (in order of appearance on video): William Westney, Michael O'Boyle, Jinzhou (James) Yang (Texas Tech University), Cynthia M. Grund (University of Southern Denmark). Musical selections from "Lyric Pieces" by Edvard Grieg.

The TTU project follows on prior studies by Gody and Jensenius at the "FourM's" laboratory at the University of Oslo (Norway), and coordinates with related projects of the Nordic Network for the Integration of Music Informatics, Performance and Aesthetics (, sponsored by Nordforsk.

For additional background and links, please see the article "Movement and Musical Meaning" in Texas Tech's Discoveries research magazine:



(William Westney and Cynthia M. Grund as part of the Texas Tech Transdisciplinary Academy Research team together with Michael O'Boyle and James Yang)


For an introduction to the research team and to the Transdiscliplinary Research Academy at Texas Tech University, please see



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Institute for the Study of Culture

Institut for Kulturvidenskaber (IKV)


Research Director for

The Aesthetics of

Music and Sound


Editor and Webmaster for

Cynthia M. Grund





(For descriptions, please click on the tabs at the top of the page.)


1.Understanding Music through Modern Technology

a) Recognizing Music

b) Recognition of Expressive Styles in Music Performance

c) Autonomous Agents An Accompanist in VR

d) The Composition and Its Role in the Ensemble

2. Intermediality

a) Intermediality

b) Lyric and Meaning in Music

c) Towards an Aesthetic Theory of Correlativity

d) Are Treatments of the Metaphysics of Music in Medieval Literature Relevant for Current Theories of Musical Meaning and Significance?

3. Learning through Music

a) Music Communication

b) Children's Knowledge Creation with Intelligent Agents in Music Education - Understanding for Optimizing Motivations

c) Adaptable Interfaces & Augmented Avatar - Introducing Tools for the Disabled and Musicians in VR

d) Community Singing and/or Ideology

e) Creating Creativity

f) Understanding Musical Creativity and Aesthetics in a Digital-Based Youth Cultural Context

g) The Sound of Movement - the Sound of Learning

4. Practice-based Research

a) Analysis and Implementation of Practice-Based Research

b) Relationship of Gesture to Communicative Authenticity in Performance

c) Musical Implications of the Work of Selected Philosophers

d) Employing the Methods of Discourse Narrative to Support Interpretive Choices Faced by the Practicing Musician

e) Soundmapping the Genes

f) A Program of Practice-based Research Designed to Examine Listener Reaction to Olivier Messiaens Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus

g) The Interrelationship of Notation and Performance

h) Technological and Aesthetic Investigations of the Physical Movements of Pianists

5. Selective Bibliography