This study deals with the acoustical factors liable to account for expressiveness in clarinet performances. Mechanical and expressive performances of excerpts from Bach's Suite No. II and Mozart's Quintet for Clarinet and Strings were recorded. Timbre, timing, dynamics, and pitch descriptors were extracted from the recorded performances. The data were processed using a two-way analysis of variance, where the musician's expressive intentions and the note factors were defined as the independent variables. In both musical excerpts, a strong effect of the expressive intention was observed on the timbre (attack time, spectral centroid, odd/even ratio), timing (intertone onset intervals) and dynamics (root mean square envelope) descriptors. The changes in the timbre descriptors were found to depend on the position of the notes in the musical phrases. These results suggest that timbre, as well as timing and dynamics variations, may mediate expressiveness in the musical messages transmitted from performers to listeners.
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