Vienna Talk 2015 on Music Acoustics
“Bridging the Gaps”     16–19 September 2015


Designing on subjective tolerance to approximated piano reproductions

Fontana, Federico; Zambon, Stefano and De Pra, Yuri 

Proceedings of the Third Vienna Talk on Music Acoustics (2015), pp. 197–204


Results from three experiments are presented, showing that the perceived acoustic and vibrotactile quality of a reproduced piano does not require models simulating every aspect of the original instrument with great accuracy. It was found that high-quality loudspeaker array passive listening at the pianist's position admits distortions of the sound field. Furthermore, pianists during playing seem to compensate for errors in the auditory scene description. Finally, they are particularly sensitive to the existence of vibrotactile feedback on their fingers meanwhile tolerant about the precision with which this feedback is reproduced. Based on these results we are currently working on a lightweight portable physics-based digital piano design, that should improve upon the experience a pianist with no keyboards at hand makes when interacting with a touch-screen piano software running on smartphones and laptops.


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  • Piano perception
  • Music instrument interfaces
  • Physics-based piano model

  • Status
    Invited Paper
    not reviewed

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