Journal of the Acoustical Society of Japan (E)
Online ISSN : 2185-3509
Print ISSN : 0388-2861
Do piano lessons improve basic temporal controllability of maintaining a uniform tempo?
Masashi YamadaTakashi Tsumura
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1998 Volume 19 Issue 2 Pages 121-131


To clarify at what point a skilled pianist's ability surpasses a novice pianist's with regard to basic temporal controllability of maintaining a uniform tempo, skilled and novice pianists tapped a piano keyboard and an aluminum board in equal intervals. They used three types of finger motions for the tapping. The temporal fluctuation in the tapping was analyzed by Fourier analysis to estimate the temporal controllability. As a result, when tapping with a single finger, there was no difference in the controllability between skilled and novice pianists. Skilled pianists had excellent controllability when they coordinated multiple finger motions as well as when they tapped with a single finger. However, novice pianists showed poor control for multiple finger tapping in contrast to single finger tapping. These results suggest that years of piano lessons do not improve basic controllability of maintaining a uniform tempo. They only improve the ability to coordinate multiple finger motions. There were no significant differences between the piano keyboard and the aluminum board for either skilled or novice pianists. It rejected the assumption that novice pianists were unskilled at controlling a piano keyboard.

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