Musical Meter, Rhythm and the Moving Body: Designing Methods for the Analysis of Unconstrained Body Movements

  • Luiz NavedaEmail author
  • Isabel C. Martínez
  • Javier Damesón
  • Alejandro Pereira Ghiena
  • Romina Herrera
  • Manuel Alejandro Ordás
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9617)


The process of retrieving meaningful information from rhythm responses to music imposes several methodological challenges. For one side, the indivisible connection between body actions and the musical action confines the musical phenomenon in a closed action-perception cycle. For another side, the attempts to examine internalized rhythm descriptions require a sort of action and body movements are the natural medium for musical actions. In this study, we propose strategies for the analysis of movement responses that are capable of retrieving emergent rhythmic and metrical structures encoded in free movements, which are less constrained by experimental designs and less dependent on methodological assumptions. The first technique processes zero-crossing events across velocity patterns in order to retrieve the changes of directions across metric levels. The second technique uses local accumulation of instantaneous velocity in order to describe the profiles of metric engagement abstracted from the morphology of the movement trajectories. The techniques help to trace comparisons and build new representations of embodied metrical structures. The paper discusses the possibilities and new perspectives using case studies of free spontaneous movement responses to Argentinian chacarera and Afro-Brazilian samba music.


Movement analysis Rhythm Meter Embodiment 



The author Luiz Naveda gratefully acknowledges FAPEMIG (Research Support Foundation of Minas Gerais) for the financial support (projects CHE - APQ-02689-15 and CHE - BIP-00223-16).


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Luiz Naveda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isabel C. Martínez
    • 2
  • Javier Damesón
    • 2
  • Alejandro Pereira Ghiena
    • 2
  • Romina Herrera
    • 2
  • Manuel Alejandro Ordás
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Music - State University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratorio para el Estudio de la Experiencia Musical, Facultad de Bellas ArtesUniversidad Nacional de La PlataLa Plata, Buenos AiresArgentina

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