Expresso (2012) is a ChucK* code, a project for Professor Dan Trueman's class, "Rhythm, Meter, and Groove" at Princeton University. It is based on data from John Sloboda's article, "The Communication of Musical Metre in Piano Performance" (1983), which measured the expressive variations in timing and volume for each of the 18 notes in the passages below, in order to examine how these variations contribute to the differentiation of meter.

Passage (a): No anacrusis
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Passage (b): With anacrusis
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Passages (a) and (b) are composed of the same pitches and rhythms, yet a slight shift by one eighth note produces two rather different melodies, an example of "metrically malleable melody." The Expresso machine was designed to take the measurement data from Sloboda's study and simulate them in different ways to delve deeper into the notion of expressive variation in the context of metrically malleable melodies. The Sloboda article and the original document of my project, as well as some audio samples and the code for Expresso, are included below.

Original Article


Audio Samples

Audio Example 1a

Audio Example 1b

Audio Example 1c

Audio Example 1d

Audio Example 2

Below are the original ChucK file, as well as a PDF version of the same code (for easier viewing):

*For more information on ChucK, please visit: