recording and performance analysis of the entire 28-hour performance
(project description and data)
the Vexations recording homepage. All researchers are invited to use
the data presented in this homepage for further analysis. However, by downloading
you accept (a) that the copyright of the data is owned by Reinhard Kopiez
and (b) an acknowledgment of the source of data and owner of copyright in intended
publications must be mentioned. Thank you.
Author contact: reinhard.kopiez(at)hmtm-hannover.de
The main aim
of this project was to develop adequate methods for the performance analysis
of long-term musical performances.
The first recording of a continuous performance of Satie's composition 'Vexations'
was used as an example. This composition comprises one theme and two variations.
It has to be repeated 840 times in a very slow tempo which results in a total
performance duration of roughly 28 hours. Performance analysis was based on
EEG data, MIDI and acoustical data. Linear as well as non-linear methods were
applied to analyze changes in loudness and tempo.
took place in May 2000, in Dresden, Germany. The pianist was Armin Fuchs (Würzburg,
of "Vexations" in MIDI-format or in 'human'
performance" (MP3 format, 2 MB).
R. (1998). Die Performance von Erik Saties Vexations aus Pianistensicht. In
R. Kopiez et al. (Eds.), Musikwissenschaft zwischen Kunst, Ästhetik
und Experiment. (Festschrift Helga de la Motte-Haber zum 60. Geburtstag)
(pp. 303311). Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. [Extensive
interview with the pianist Armin Fuchs (in German). (pdf
C., Kopiez, R. & Altenmüller, E. (2003). Stability of motor programs
during a state of meditation: Electrocortical activity in a pianist playing
'Vexations' by Erik Satie continuously for 28 hours. Psychology of Music,
31(2), 173-186. (pdf document
- Kopiez, R.,
Bangert, M., Goebl, W. & Altenmüller, E. (2003). Tempo and loudness
analysis of a continuous 28-hour performance of Erik Satie's composition 'Vexations'.
Journal of New Music Research, 32(3), 243-258. (pdf
- Kopiez, R. & Bangert, M. (2009). Die Visualisierung von Langzeit-Performancedaten am Beispiel von Erik Saties "Vexations". Musikpsychologie, 20, 243-249. (pdf
- Score of 'Vexations'
(pdf file )
available data and files:
curve (in sone, 10 ms resolution) and onsets from
the acoustical recording (two-column textfile, 25.5 MB)
- MIDI file
(Vex28.mid, 1 MB).
Note: SMF 1 format with note events on track 1 and pedal events on
track 3. Most sequencers (Cubase etc.) have difficulties opening the MIDI
file. However, the MIDI file can best be played with Windows Media Player.
Sound starts at 4' 40''. If needed, the file can be converted to a text file
with the tool Midi file to text (mf2t) by Piet
van Oostrum (running in a DOS environment).
Comment: Due to technical difficulties during the MIDI recording, 'Vexations'
begins with note number 4 of the theme.
recording (138 MB zip file). Persyst data format. Can only be opened by
Persyst software EEG-Suite.
- To obtain
an evaluation copy of Persyst EEG-Suite analysis software see
- MP3 file (56
kB, mono; 660 MB). In case of interest please contact author.
- Raw data of
the entire performance (stereo, 44.1 kHz, 16 bit; about 16 Gigabyte). In case
of interest please contact author.
- Vex3D software for visualization of MIDI timing and loudness performance data (only for Windows).
containing information related to Satie and his work:
Extensive documentary of the Vexations project on YouTube
Broadcast report on German television 3sat (May 2000, in German)
Is playing the piano for 28 hours harmful? The Guardian (Marc Abrahams), 29 November 2010
project has been sponsored by
Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media
foundation of Saxony