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Modelling Microtiming Beat Variations with Pulse-Coupled Oscillators

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Patterns of microtiming variation at the beat level are known to be associated with music that evokes an experience of groove. The microtiming of Clyde Stubblefield’s drum break on James Brown’s track The Funky Drummerexhibits a pattern of variation in individual beat periods, but bar durations are unaffected. The aim of the study was to model the production of these two apparently paradoxical attributes. In the computational model presented here, microtiming variations at the beat level emerge together with uniform bar durations, due to the interaction of two oscillators via pulse coupling. The two coupled oscillators can be seen as abstractions of entrainment processes in the brain, and implications for a general model of musical entrainment are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Design Lab, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, Wilkinson Building (G04), 148 City Road, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

10.1163/22134468-00002046
/content/journals/10.1163/22134468-00002046
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/content/journals/10.1163/22134468-00002046
2015-05-25
2017-11-22

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