Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Synchronous and asynchronous applause at the end of a performance

I've posted before about synchronized applause: The Sound of Many Hands Clapping: Group Intentionality, and Synch and Society, Two Articles: A Synthesis and Review and a Study of Applause. Now we have an example, Sacred Music From Medieval Spain: The Llibre Vermell And The Cantigas De Santa Maria:

When the performance is over, the musicians start to file out. This, more or less, is how it unfolds:
  • c. 1:07:33 applause starts as the musicians file out. It is synchronized to the music and continues for awhile after musicians are gone and the music has stopped.
  • It starts picking up tempo at about 1:08:52 as the musicians file back.
  • Breaking up at around and appears mostly asynchronous by about 1:09:01, though I can hear remnants of the original synchronous pulse.
  • 1:09:44: musicians are back on stage and assembled for bows. The applause has died down considerably.
  • 1:09:50: and now the sound of the applause has picked up.
  • 1:10:17: silence as they prepare for to perform an encore.
  • 1:15:48: silence as the music concludes.
  • 1:15:51: asynchronous applause wells up, but I can hear a periodic element in there.
  • 1:17:19: the synchronous element gets louder as the director comes back on stage and presents several instrumentalists individually for bows.
  • 1:17:46: still a distinct synchronous component among the asynchrony.
  • 1:17:53: Synchrony dominates.
  • 1:18:11: Musicians are leaving; synchrony waxes and wanes a bit, but predominates. Appears to disperse at 1:18:49.
  • 1:19:00: And done.
It would be interesting to see precise measurements of sound volume and structure during the course of this sequence. I'm particularly interested in the apparent periodicity that appears even during regimes of overall asynchronous applause.

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