Investigation of the Harpist/Harp Interaction

  • Delphine Chadefaux
  • Jean-Loïc Le Carrou
  • Benoît Fabre
  • Laurent Daudet
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8905)


This paper presents a contribution to the field of the musician/instrument interaction analysis. This study aims at investigating the mechanical parameters that govern the harp plucking action as well as the gestural strategies set up by harpists to control a musical performance. Two specific experimental procedures have been designed to accurately describe the harpist motion in realistic playing contexts. They consist in filming the plucking action and the harpists gestures using a high-speed camera and a motion capture system, respectively. Simultaneously, acoustical measurements are performed to relate the kinematic investigation to sound features. Results describe the musical gesture characteristics. Mechanical parameters governing the finger/string interaction are highlighted and their influence on the produced sound are discussed. Besides, the relationship between non sound-producing gestures and musical intent is pointed out. Finally, the way energy is shared between harpist arm joints according to various playing techniques is analyzed.


Harp High-speed video analysis Motion capture Acoustics Data mining 



The authors would like to thank C. Brum Medeiros, M. Ghamsari-Esfahani, L. Quartier, M.-A. Vitrani and M. M. Wanderley for their help during measurements, the harpists who participated in this study: M. Denizot, P. Didier, E. Grégoire-Rousseau, M. Klein, S. Le Conte, C. Levecque, C. Lieby-Muller, A. Malette-Chénier, M. Monod-Cotte, B. Pigaglio, M. Rochut, M.-E. Sutherland and C. Vincent; and R. Martin for her interest and fruitful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Delphine Chadefaux
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean-Loïc Le Carrou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Benoît Fabre
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laurent Daudet
    • 3
  1. 1.LAM / Institut Jean Le Rond D’AlembertSorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7190ParisFrance
  2. 2.LAM / Institut Jean Le Rond D’AlembertUMR CNRS 7190ParisFrance
  3. 3.Institut LangevinParis Diderot University, ESPCI, UMR CNRS 7587ParisFrance

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