Motion and Music Workshop 2: from movement to analysis

The second Motion and Music Workshop will take place at the University of Jyväskylä, in Jyväskylä, Finland, on 7 June 2016. It will be a satellite event of the Sysmus 16 Student Conference, which will be held at the University of Jyväskylä on 8-10 June 2016.

Following the success of the first Motion and Music Workshop in Plymouth, UK, in June 2015, we would like to invite participants for an exciting day of learning about motion capture and analysis techniques using the celebrated MoCap Toolbox, developed here at the University of Jyväskylä.

This workshop is aimed at participants of the Sysmus16 Student Conference, but is also open to anyone wishing to learn more about motion capture acquisition and analysis. Participants will be introduced to motion capture data, which consists of spatially and temporally rich time-series, and is suitable for any number of common or specialized analysis techniques. The workshop will be hands on, allowing participants to get practical experience placing markers on subjects, labeling marker trajectories, and creating custom-designed animations of motion captured performances. While we welcome participants without motion capture experience, we are confident the day will be equally fruitful for experts as well.

The workshop will be based around the Qualisys Motion Capture System. We will study how to capture music-related motion such as dance and instrumental-playing. The primary software library used in the workshop include the Mocap Toolbox for Matlab.

Workshop organisers

Marc Thompson (University of Jyväskylä), Federico Visi (Plymouth University), Esther Coorevits (Ghent University)


The workshop is free but places are limited to 20, please contact for registration by May 1st, 2016.


Morning Session (in Music Motorics Lab, M014) Presenter
09:00-09:30 Welcome, coffee, and introductions                                                                                                   
09:30-10:30 Introduction o Motion Capture, Qualisys system, data acquisition, labelling and preprocessing Marc Thompson & Birgitta Burger
10:45-12:00 Real-time streaming capabilities and sound synthesis                                   Juan Ignacio Mendoza

12:00-13:15: LUNCH

Afternoon (in iMac lab, M210)Presenter

Introduction to Motion Capture data analysis: overview of MATLAB and MoCap Toolbox

Marc Thompson        
15:00-16:30 Advanced analysis techniques: Analysis and classifying data with Functional Data Analysis and Self-Organizing Maps Esther Coorevits             
16:30-18:00 Advanced analysis techniques: musical gesture analysis and modelling                     Federico Visi



  • Participants will gain experience and practice about collecting and preprocessing data from Motion Capture System
  • Using the MoCap Toolbox, we will demonstrate how popular analysis methods can be applied to Motion Capture data (e.g. movement feature extraction, Principal Components Analysis, Periodicity Analysis)
  • Participant will be exposed to cutting edge solutions for musical gesture analysis and modelling

Equipment and Space

The workshop will be held in the Music Motorics lab at the University of Jyväskylä equipped a 12-camera Qualisys Motion Capture lab (Oqus series cameras). There will also be brief presentation of various gesture-capturing technologies (LeapMotion, MyoArmbands, Wiimote). Attendees interested in showcasing a gesture-capturing technology they are familiar with are welcomed to give a short presentation, and should contact with their suggestions.


  • Basic understanding of programming concepts (experience with MATLAB is a plus).

  • The Analysis portion of the workshop will take place in our iMac computer lab, with 12 available iMacs. Participants are also welcomed to follow on their own laptops, but should have MATLAB installed.

  • MATLAB work files specific to the workshop will be provided via Dropbox a few days before the workshop

  • The MoCap Toolbox can be downloaded from HERE.

About the MoCap Toolbox

The MoCap Toolbox is a set of functions written in Matlab for analyzing and visualizing motion capture data. It is aimed at investigating music-related movement, but can be beneficial for other research areas as well. The Toolbox was developed at the University of Jyväskylä by Petri Toiviainen and Birgitta Burger.

This second Motion and Music Workshop will focus on the structure of the toolbox and its data representations, and give an introduction to the use of the toolbox for research and analysis purposes. The examples will cover basic visualization and analysis approaches, such as general data handling, creating stick-figure images and animations, kinematic and kinetic analysis, and performing Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on movement data,

The MoCap Toolbox contains more than 60 functions for the analysis and visualization of motion capture data. The functions can be divided into nine categories:

  • Data input and edit functions

  • Coordinate transformation functions

  • Coordinate system conversion functions

  • Kinematic analysis functions

  • Kinetic analysis functions

  • Time-series analysis functions

  • Visualization functions

  • Projection functions

  • Other functions