Pachet, F. Roy, P. Do jazz musicians really interact?. In Micheline Lesaffre, Pieter-­Jan Maes and Marc Leman, eds., editor, Routledge Companion to Embodied Music Interaction, Routledge. 2017.

Sony CSL authors: François Pachet, Pierre Roy


Musicians, critics, musicologists and even lay audience seem to agree that improvising musicians interact with each other during collective improvisation. However little is known about the nature of such interactions. In particular, a key question is to which extent this interaction involves the content of the music (rhythm, harmony, melody, expressiveness)? Such a question is crucial for designing smarter music interaction systems. In this chapter, we propose an analytical framework to identify correlates of content-based interaction. We illustrate the approach with the analysis of interaction in a typical jazz quintet. We extract audio features from the signals of the soloist and the rhythm section. We measure the dependency between those time series with correlation, cross-correlation, mutual information, and Granger causality, both when musicians play concomitantly and when they do not. We identify a significant amount of dependency, but we show it is mostly due to the use of a common musical context, which we call the score effect. Therefore, we argue that either content-based interaction in jazz is a myth or that interactions do take place but at unknown musical dimensions.

Keywords: creativity, music

BibTeX entry

@INCOLLECTION { pachet:17c, AUTHOR="Pachet, F. Roy, P.", BOOKTITLE="Routledge Companion to Embodied Music Interaction", EDITOR="Micheline Lesaffre, Pieter-­Jan Maes and Marc Leman, eds.", PUBLISHER="Routledge", TITLE="Do jazz musicians really interact?", YEAR="2017", }