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The Role of Haptic Cues in Musical Instrument Quality Perception

Saitis, Charalampos; Järveläinen, Hanna; Fritz, Claudia

FG Audiokommunikation

We draw from recent research in violin quality evaluation and piano performance to examine whether the vibrotactile sensation felt when playing a musical instrument can have a perceptual effect on its judged quality from the perspective of the musician. Because of their respective sound production mechanisms, the violin and the piano offer unique example cases and diverse scenarios to study tactile aspects of musical interaction. Both violinists and pianists experience rich haptic feedback, but the former experience vibrations at more bodily parts than the latter. We observe that the vibrotactile component of the haptic feedback during playing, both for the violin and the piano, provides an important part of the integrated sensory information that the musician experiences when interacting with the instrument. In particular, the most recent studies illustrate that vibrations felt at the fingertips (left hand only for the violinist) can lead to an increase in perceived sound loudness and richness, suggesting the potential for more research in this direction.