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Phd Position : Biomechanical analysis of the performance of a musician (3 years)

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  • Phd Position : Biomechanical analysis of the performance of a musician (3 years)

    Phd Position : Biomechanical analysis of the performance of a musician in relation with the mechanical properties of the instrument (3 years)

    Location: University of Technology of Compiegne (France)

    PhD Position is open in collaboration with the research unit Biomechanics and Bioengineering (UMR-CNRS 7338) ( ) and the Laboratory Roberval ( FRE-CRNS 2012) ( ) at the University of Technology of Compiegne (France) ( ) for three years.

    The project description:
    Gestures of musicians do not only lead to sound production, they may also be seen as the achievement of an artistic performance. Preliminary studies during laboratory sessions have already demonstrated that expert musicians present an extreme reproducibility of their motion. Furthermore, this motion is directly linked to the skill level of a performer and the instrument they play. In addition, motion analysis of musicians can be used to develop gesture-learning paradigms. The core of the present research project is to investigate how a novice becomes an expert and how the mechanical properties of the instrument affect a musician’s performance. This does not only take into account the accuracy of the musical performance but also the spatio-temporal characteristics of the gestures of the performer. The focus of this research would be to perform motion capture analysis and comparison during both laboratory and live concert sessions, which will require the integration of sensors onto the instrument(s) to monitor the influence of mechanical and acoustical properties on the performance. Investigation will focus on percussion instruments, such as snare drum, marimba, kettledrum, vibraphone, etc. This project presents topological and methodological challenges, in particular the identification of state variables of multibody kinematical chains, considering both the musician and the sticks. The protocol will have to be designed in order to set up a motion capture session that does not disturb the musician. This project will be under the auspices of the interdisciplinary institute “Collegium Musicae” of Sorbonne Université, allying scientists with different backgrounds (musicology, music performance, mathematics, acoustics, ethnology, biomechanics, etc.).

    - Background in Mechanics ( science of materials )
    - Background in Biomechanics/ Motion capture appreciated
    - Ability to collect and analyze experimental data
    - Experience with computation ( Matlab, python,… )
    - Excellent oral / written communication in English and French

    All information concerning the university of technology of Compiegne and the Compiegne area can be found respectively under
    and Please send your applications including your CV (including a publications list and a summary of the previous research experience, a cover letter, and a recommendation letter per email as soon as possible)to: Prof. Frédéric Marin ( and prof. Zoheir Aboura (

    The selected candidate will then be contacted by beginning June to prepare an application at the doctoral programme university of technology of Compiegne ( ).
    The successful candidate will be auditioned between June 25 and June 29.The start of the project will start at the earliest in October 2018.