University of Jyväskylä

Dissertation: 17.1.2017 FM Martin Hartmann (Faculty of Humanities, Musicology)

Start date: Jan 17, 2017 12:00 PM

End date: Jan 17, 2017 03:00 PM

Location: Seminaarinmäki, Vanha juhlasali, S212

M.A. Martin Hartmann defends his doctoral dissertation in Musicology ”Modelling and Prediction of Perceptual Segmentation”. Opponent Associate Professor Emilios Cambouropoulos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and custos Professor Petri Toiviainen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

Martin Hartmann
Martin Hartmann

M.A. Martin Hartmann defends his doctoral dissertation in Musicology ”Modelling and Prediction of Perceptual Segmentation”. Opponent Associate Professor Emilios Cambouropoulos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and custos Professor Petri Toiviainen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.


While listening to music, we somehow make sense of a multiplicity of auditory events; for example, in popular music we are often able to recognize whether the current section is a verse or a chorus, and to identify the boundaries between these segments. This organization occurs at multiple levels, since we can discern motifs, phrases, sections and other groupings. In this work, we understand segment boundaries as instants of significant change.

Several studies on music perception and cognition have strived to understand what types of changes are associated with perceptual structure. However, effects of musical training, possible differences between real-time and non real-time segmentation, and the relative importance of different musical dimensions on perception and prediction of segmentation are still unsolved problems. Investigating these issues can lead to a better understanding of mechanisms used by different types of listeners in different contexts, and to gain knowledge of the relationship between perceptual structure and underlying acoustic changes in the music.
In this work, we collected segmentation responses from musical pieces in two listening experiments, a real-time task and a non real-time task. Boundary data was obtained from 18 non-musicians in the real-time task and from 18 musicians in both tasks. We used kernel density estimation to aggregate boundary responses from multiple participants into a perceptual segment density curve, and novelty detection to obtain computational models based on audio musical features ex- tracted from the musical stimuli.

Overall, our findings provide evidence for an effect of experimental task on perceptual segmentation and its prediction, and clarify the contribution of local and global musical characteristics. However, the findings do not resolve discrepancies in the literature regarding musicianship. Furthermore, this investigation highlights the role of local musical change between homogeneous regions in boundary perception, the impact of boundary indication delays on segmentation, and the problem of segmentation time scales on modelling.

Keywords: musical structure, kernel density estimation, novelty detection, musical features, musical training, perceptual segmentation task.

The dissertation is published in the seriesJyväskylä Studies in Humanities numerona 303, 94 pp., Jyväskylä 2017, ISSN:1459-4323, 303 (nid.) ISSN 1459-4331; 303 (PDF) ISBN:978-951-39-6902-8 (nid.), 978-951-39-6903-5 (PDF).  It is available at the Soppi University Shop and University of Jyväskylä Web Store, tel. +358 (0)40 805 3825, E-publication:

Short Bio:

High School: Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001)
Bachelor's degree (Licenciatura) in Psychology, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008)
Master's degree in Music, Mind, and Technology, University of Jyväskylä (2011)
Current workplace: Music Department, University of Jyväskylä.

Further information:

Martin Hartmann, puh. +358408054311,

Viestintäharjoittelija Kirke Hassinen, puh. +358408053638,

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