Science of piano playing to be revealed with 3D mapping techniques

Have you ever wondered exactly what makes up good piano playing technique? What sets apart the virtuoso pianist from the mere mortal? Or why some pianists develop injuries?

Researchers from the University of Southampton are hoping to answer some of those questions as they set to discover the mechanics of piano playing using a newly-developed Hand And Wrist Kinematics (HAWK) system.

By building a database of the playing techniques of hundreds of pianists, and then analysing them, they hope to understand how playing habits and styles may contribute to proficiency or even injury.

For the system to works, a player’s hands and wrists are covered in reflective dots. These can be picked up by a Vicon motion-capture system as used in Hollywood animation studios.

Take a look at the video which features Professor David Owen Norris from the university’s music department.

Via BBC News