Tallinn U Cultural Data Analytics (CUDAN) Open Lab Distinguished Speaker Series: At the Heart of Music: Performance and Perception Analytics

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Abstract: Music is a pervasive cultural artefact that has persisted in part because of its ability to elicit a wide range of perceptual and physiological responses.

Music expressivity is the means through which performers elicit responses from listeners. The nature of music means that many expressive aspects of music can be represented mathematically, quantitatively as data, which makes it amenable to computational modeling and analyses. It is the shaping of music’s sonic properties that conveys structures, affect, and meaning. I shall describe some of the ways we can capture this expressivity and show visually the structures they convey.

Next, I will demonstrate that recordings of cardiac arrhythmias, the result of the electrical conduction system of the heart gone awry, possess properties similar to expressive music. Finally, the brain and autonomic nervous system are known to influence cardiac electrophysiology and its propensity for arrhythmias. Here, I will describe our study on cardiac response to live music performance, and how quantifiable aspects of music expressivity and cardiac behaviors can be exploited to investigate heart-brain interactions. I shall also introduce our work on music therapeutics with physiological feedback.
Period12 Dec 2022
Held atTallinn University Cultural Data Analytics (CUDAN) Open Lab, Estonia
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • music prosody
  • expressivity
  • music transcription
  • heartbeat music