University of the Arts Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland
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PubMed | University of the Arts Helsinki, National University of Singapore, University of Helsinki and Joensuu Conservatory
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

Abilities related to musical aptitude appear to have a long history in human evolution. To elucidate the molecular and evolutionary background of musical aptitude, we compared genome-wide genotyping data (641K SNPs) of 148 Finnish individuals characterized for musical aptitude. We assigned signatures of positive selection in a case-control setting using three selection methods: haploPS, XP-EHH and FST. Gene ontology classification revealed that the positive selection regions contained genes affecting inner-ear development. Additionally, literature survey has shown that several of the identified genes were known to be involved in auditory perception (e.g. GPR98, USH2A), cognition and memory (e.g. GRIN2B, IL1A, IL1B, RAPGEF5), reward mechanisms (RGS9), and song perception and production of songbirds (e.g. FOXP1, RGS9, GPR98, GRIN2B). Interestingly, genes related to inner-ear development and cognition were also detected in a previous genome-wide association study of musical aptitude. However, the candidate genes detected in this study were not reported earlier in studies of musical abilities. Identification of genes related to language development (FOXP1 and VLDLR) support the popular hypothesis that music and language share a common genetic and evolutionary background. The findings are consistent with the evolutionary conservation of genes related to auditory processes in other species and provide first empirical evidence for signatures of positive selection for abilities that contribute to musical aptitude.

Jarvinen H.,University of the Arts Helsinki
Avant | Year: 2013

In this text, I discuss Vaslav Nijinsky's choreography of Le Sacre du Printemps (henceforth Sacre) as it appears in the light of primary source materials from 1913. By focusing on the unique challenges Nijinsky posed to his dancers in terms of movement style and composition, I contest many of the frequentlyheard claims made about this work, particularly its danced component, and argue that Nijinsky's choreographic ideas challenged both dancers and critics by questioning the ontological qualities of (art) dance in contemporary discourse.

PubMed | University of the Arts Helsinki, University of Helsinki and Aalto University
Type: | Journal: PeerJ | Year: 2015

Although brain imaging studies have demonstrated that listening to music alters human brain structure and function, the molecular mechanisms mediating those effects remain unknown. With the advent of genomics and bioinformatics approaches, these effects of music can now be studied in a more detailed fashion. To verify whether listening to classical music has any effect on human transcriptome, we performed genome-wide transcriptional profiling from the peripheral blood of participants after listening to classical music (n = 48), and after a control study without music exposure (n = 15). As musical experience is known to influence the responses to music, we compared the transcriptional responses of musically experienced and inexperienced participants separately with those of the controls. Comparisons were made based on two subphenotypes of musical experience: musical aptitude and music education. In musically experiencd participants, we observed the differential expression of 45 genes (27 up- and 18 down-regulated) and 97 genes (75 up- and 22 down-regulated) respectively based on subphenotype comparisons (rank product non-parametric statistics, pfp 0.05, >1.2-fold change over time across conditions). Gene ontological overrepresentation analysis (hypergeometric test, FDR < 0.05) revealed that the up-regulated genes are primarily known to be involved in the secretion and transport of dopamine, neuron projection, protein sumoylation, long-term potentiation and dephosphorylation. Down-regulated genes are known to be involved in ATP synthase-coupled proton transport, cytolysis, and positive regulation of caspase, peptidase and endopeptidase activities. One of the most up-regulated genes, alpha-synuclein (SNCA), is located in the best linkage region of musical aptitude on chromosome 4q22.1 and is regulated by GATA2, which is known to be associated with musical aptitude. Several genes reported to regulate song perception and production in songbirds displayed altered activities, suggesting a possible evolutionary conservation of sound perception between species. We observed no significant findings in musically inexperienced participants.

PubMed | University of the Arts Helsinki, Conservatory of Joensuu and University of Helsinki
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Creative activities in music represent a complex cognitive function of the human brain, whose biological basis is largely unknown. In order to elucidate the biological background of creative activities in music we performed genome-wide linkage and linkage disequilibrium (LD) scans in musically experienced individuals characterised for self-reported composing, arranging and non-music related creativity. The participants consisted of 474 individuals from 79 families, and 103 sporadic individuals. We found promising evidence for linkage at 16p12.1-q12.1 for arranging (LOD 2.75, 120 cases), 4q22.1 for composing (LOD 2.15, 103 cases) and Xp11.23 for non-music related creativity (LOD 2.50, 259 cases). Surprisingly, statistically significant evidence for linkage was found for the opposite phenotype of creative activity in music (neither composing nor arranging; NCNA) at 18q21 (LOD 3.09, 149 cases), which contains cadherin genes like CDH7 and CDH19. The locus at 4q22.1 overlaps the previously identified region of musical aptitude, music perception and performance giving further support for this region as a candidate region for broad range of music-related traits. The other regions at 18q21 and 16p12.1-q12.1 are also adjacent to the previously identified loci with musical aptitude. Pathway analysis of the genes suggestively associated with composing suggested an overrepresentation of the cerebellar long-term depression pathway (LTD), which is a cellular model for synaptic plasticity. The LTD also includes cadherins and AMPA receptors, whose component GSG1L was linked to arranging. These results suggest that molecular pathways linked to memory and learning via LTD affect music-related creative behaviour. Musical creativity is a complex phenotype where a common background with musicality and intelligence has been proposed. Here, we implicate genetic regions affecting music-related creative behaviour, which also include genes with neuropsychiatric associations. We also propose a common genetic background for music-related creative behaviour and musical abilities at chromosome 4.

Adhitya S.,University College London | Kuuskankare M.,University of the Arts Helsinki
Proceedings - 40th International Computer Music Conference, ICMC 2014 and 11th Sound and Music Computing Conference, SMC 2014 - Music Technology Meets Philosophy: From Digital Echos to Virtual Ethos | Year: 2014

This paper describes further developments of the SUM tool, initially developed for the sonification of images, towards the composition and execution of graphic scores. Closer integration of the SUM user library within the computer-aided composition environment of PWGL has allowed the composition and realization of more complex graphic scores. After first explaining the existing structure and sonification approach of the SUM tool, we introduce its new macro-structure utilising PWGL's VIUHKA texture generator, which supports higher structural levels and thus the generation of more complex sonic events. As a proof-of-concept demonstration of SUM's new macro scheme, we attempt to reproduce the graphic scores of Greek composer Anestis Logothetis, notable for his extensive graphic-sound taxonomy. We thus demonstrate the combined capabilities of PWGL and the SUM tool to support the computer-aided composition of graphic scores. Copyright: © 2014 Sara Adhitya et al.

Lahdeoja O.,University of the Arts Helsinki
Proceedings of the 12th International Conference in Sound and Music Computing, SMC 2015 | Year: 2015

The present article describes and discusses an acoustic guitar augmented with structure-borne sound drivers attached on its soundboard. The sound drivers enable to drive electronic sounds into the guitar, transforming the soundboard into a loudspeaker and building a second layer of sonic activity on the instrument. The article presents the system implementation and its associated design process, as well as a set of sonic augmentations. The sound aesthetics of augmented acoustic instruments are discussed and compared to instruments comprising separate loudspeakers. © 2015 Otso Lähdeoja.

When we try to understand and articulate an artistic practice called performing landscape, it proves helpful to understand various (f)actors, such as, for instance, the wind, the tripod, the scarf, the body, and so on, as interacting collaborators within an assemblage of various materialities (Bennett, 2010). Prompted by Rosi Braidotti’s (2013) overview of the discussions around the posthuman, however, we could ask whether it is possible to understand the interaction more like an “intra-action” (Barad, 2007), where the entanglement of the various components is a pre-condition, rather than a result, of the action. Perhaps the split of the artist into a performer in front of the camera and a witness behind it could be understood as an agential cut of sorts? In the case of a previous practice — performing with plants — intraaction is intuitively easier to assume, due to the symbiotic interdependence of animals and plants in their exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. But could we understand performing for the camera, with a small swing attached to a tree, as an intra-action as well? And if so, what would be the methodological advantages of pursuing such an understanding? This case study set within the field of performance as research and artistic research is related to the mattering of the digital, since the practice itself is to a large extent digital, although the main focus of the paper is on methodological questions. © 2014 by FUOC.

Andean J.,University of the Arts Helsinki
Organised Sound | Year: 2014

This article examines some of the ethical issues involved in working creatively with sound. Issues considered include: sound ownership; sound vs. vision as determinations of identity, and their relative iconicity; recorded sound; sound as physical phenomenon vs. sound as symbol; issues of copyright and trademark; community ownership; awareness, sensitivity and responsibility; composer responsibility vs. listener responsibility; the relative importance of contextualisation; and intercultural dialogue. We will conclude with a critique of the cultural and ethical shortcomings of the article itself, and a call for social, cultural and ethical engagement in creative sound work. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014.

Lahdeoja O.,University of the Arts Helsinki | Haapaniemi A.,Aalto University | Valimaki V.,Aalto University
Proceedings - 40th International Computer Music Conference, ICMC 2014 and 11th Sound and Music Computing Conference, SMC 2014 - Music Technology Meets Philosophy: From Digital Echos to Virtual Ethos | Year: 2014

This paper suggests the use of a plywood panel, which is also a scenographic element in a dance performance, as a flat speaker. The sound emanating from the panel is subjectively different from a traditional loudspeaker, since the sound appears to originate from behind the panel. However, its frequency response is severely coloured by the panel modes, and the panel has a displeasing low pass-filtered sound. We propose a digital equalizing filter to improve the sound quality of the panel. The panel response is measured at various angles using the sinesweep method, and a smoothed average response is formed. A minimum-phase FIR equalizing filter is then designed using an FFT-based technique. Applying this filter to the input signal of the panel alleviates the spectral imbalance. As the measurement and filter design can be conducted online on the scene, the proposed equalized structure-borne sound now becomes an attractive possibility for modern performances. Copyright: © 2014 First author et al.

Norilo V.,University of the Arts Helsinki
Computer Music Journal | Year: 2015

Kronos is a signal-processing programming language based on the principles of semifunctional reactive systems. It is aimed at efficient signal processing at the elementary level, and built to scale towards higher-level tasks by utilizing the powerful programming paradigms of "metaprogramming" and reactive multirate systems. The Kronos language features expressive source code as well as a streamlined, efficient runtime. The programming model presented is adaptable for both sample-stream and event processing, offering a cleanly functional programming paradigm for a wide range of musical signal-processing problems, exemplified herein by a selection and discussion of code examples. © 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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