This study was intended to examine whether differences exist in the motions employed by pianists when they are sightreading versus performing repertoire and to determine whether these differences can be c[uantified using high-speed motion capture technology. A secondary question of interest was whether or not an improvement in the efficiency of motion could be observed between two sight-reading trials of the same musical excerpt. This case study employed one subject and a six-camera digital infrared camera system to capture the motion of the pianist playing two trials of a repertoire piece and two trials of a sight-reading excerpt. Angular displacements and velocities were calculated for bilateral shoulder, elbow, wrist, and index finger joints. The findings demonstrate the usefulness of high-speed motion capture technology for analyzing motions of pianists during performance, showing that the subject's motions were less efficient in sight-reading tasks than is repertoire tasks.
Wristen, Brenda; Evans, Sharon; and Stergiou, Nikolaos, "Sight-Reading Versus Repertoire Performance on the Piano: A Case Study Using High-Speed Motion Analysis" (2006). Health and Kinesiology Faculty Publications. 2.