Using regular expressions to express bowing patterns for string players

Hall, C.V. and O'Donnell, J.T. (2009) Using regular expressions to express bowing patterns for string players. In: International Conference on Music and Computers, Montreal, Canada, August 2009,




The study of bowing is critically important for string players. Traditional bowing annotations are a valuable part of orchestral and individual documentation, but they do not help the performer to search a piece for other passages that should be bowed the same way, or to identify alternative bowing styles. We introduce a notation based on regular expressions that describes patterns of notes in the music, as well as the bowing to be applied to the pattern. These expressions support complex bowings, and not just single annotations without musical context. The notation is simpler than general tools for regular expressions used in some software, and is suitable for use by students and musicians. We have developed a music editor that implements the notation and edits documents in Lilypond. The approach has been evaluated by experimenting with the editor on six violin sonatas by Mozart. The experiments demonstrate that the regular expression notation is successful at finding passages and inserting the bowings; that the patterns occur a number of times; and the bowings can be inserted automatically and consistently.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Keywords:Violin bowing, regular expression, bowing pattern
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Donnell, Dr John
Authors: Hall, C.V., and O'Donnell, J.T.
Subjects:T Technology > T Technology (General)
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2009 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the authors

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