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Aloimonos interviewed by All Things Considered

ISR-affiliated Professor Yiannis Aloimonos (CS/UMIACS) was interviewed by National Public Radio for an All Things Considered story on Nov. 27. Aloimonos spoke about a paper he co-wrote with colleagues in Italy and Turkey that determined whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras. Aloimonos, who specializes in computer vision, saw the inquiry into musical gesture in terms of signal processing.

In the research, a tiny infrared light was installed at the tip of a conductor's baton. The scientists placed similar lights on the bows of the violinists in an orchestra in Europe. When the conductor waved the baton and the violinists moved their bows, the moving lights created patterns in space which the scientists captured on camera.

The signal originated from the conductor; the players perceive the signal and create another signal by moving the bows of the violin appropriately. This is a "sensory-motor conversation," Aloimonos says.

The data showed the more influence the conductor's cues wielded over the members of the orchestra, the more aesthetically pleasing the music was overall.

| Listen to the segment on the NPR website |

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December 2, 2012


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