Hofmann, Alex / Wesolowski, Brian C. / Goebl, Werner . The Tight-interlocked Rhythm Section : Production and Perception of Synchronisation in Jazz Trio Performance. 2017. Routledge
This study investigates the production and perception of timing, synchronisation and dynamics in jazz trio performances. In a production experiment, six trio combinations of one saxophonist, two bassists, and three drummers were recorded while they performed three popular jazz songs. Onset timing and dynamics of each performer were extracted and analysed. Results showed that the tempo was significantly influenced by the timing of the drummers and all performers showed higher temporal precision on the backbeats. The drummers demonstrated individual swing-ratios, accentuations of beats and intrapersonal asynchronies between simultaneous hi-hat and ride cymbal onsets, which resulted in a hi-hat played 2–26 ms ahead of the pulse of the music. In a subsequent perception test, participants () rated 12 excerpts of the jazz recordings. They selected their preferred version from a pool of stimuli containing the original version, but also manipulations with artificially increased or reduced asynchronies. Stimuli with reduced asynchronies smaller than 19 ms were preferred by the listeners over the original or the fully quantised timing. This suggests that listeners endorse a ‘tight-interlocked’ jazz rhythm section, with asynchronies smaller than the perceptual threshold (temporal masking), but with natural timing variabilities that makes it distinguishable from a computer-generated playback.