New publication: Some video abstraction techniques for displaying body movement in analysis and performance

leonardo-2013Today the MIT Press journal Leonardo has published my paper entitled “Some video abstraction techniques for displaying body movement in analysis and performance”. The paper is a summary of my work on different types of visualisation techniques of music-related body motion. Most of these techniques were developed during my PhD, but have been refined over the course of my post-doc fellowship.

The paper is available from the Leonardo web page (or MUSE), and will also be posted in the digital archive at UiO after the 6 month embargo period.

A. R. Jensenius. Some video abstraction techniques for displaying body movement in analysis and performance. Leonardo, 46(1):53–60, 2013.

This paper presents an overview of techniques for creating visual displays of human body movement based on video recordings. First a review of early movement and video visualization techniques is given. Then follows an overview of techniques that the author has developed and used in the study of music-related body movements: motion history images, motion average images, motion history keyframe images and motiongrams. Finally, examples are given of how such visualization techniques have been used in empirical music research, in medical research and for creative applications.


   Author = {Jensenius, Alexander Refsum},
   Journal = {Leonardo},
   Number = {1},
   Pages = {53--60},
   Title = {Some video abstraction techniques for displaying body movement in analysis and performance},
   Volume = {46},
   Year = {2013}}

Open PhD position on music and motion in Oslo

Over the years we have built up an exciting research group (fourMs) here in Oslo, and we are happy to announce an open PhD position on music and body motion. The chosen candidate will be employed in the Department of Musicology and will work with the fourMs group, and will have full access to the fantastic lab facilities we have built up here over the last years (motion capture, multichannel sound, electronics, 3D-printing, robotics, etc.).

Being the capital of a small country (in population, not size), Oslo is a vibrant and international city with a large music scene, but also with easy access to nature. It is also worth mentioning that PhD fellows in Norway get a full salary, including all sorts of welfare benefits, etc.

If this sounds interesting, see the official announcement below:

Doctoral Research Fellow in Interdisciplinary Research on Music and Body Motion

The PhD fellow shall be working in the interdisciplinary research environment for technology, music and body motion at the Department of Musicology (IMV), and shall participate in ongoing research and dissemination with other researchers in this environment.

The PhD fellow shall in her/his own research have a focus on the relationships between sonic features and body motion in performance and listening situations, and shall in her/his research make use of both qualitative/descriptive and quantitative/technology-assisted methods.

The appointment is for a period of 3 years and the doctoral thesis is expected to be completed within the given time frame.

The person appointed will be affiliated with the Faculty’s organized research training. The academic work must result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at the Faculty with a view to obtaining the degree of PhD. The successful candidate is expected to join the existing research milieu or network and contribute to its developement.

The Faculty offers one PhD programme in Humanities. Read more about the PhD-programme here.


  • A Master degree or equivalent. The master degree or equivalent has to be achieved by the time of application.

Qualifications and personal skills
In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on

  • The applicant’s academic and personal qualifications in order to execute the project
  • The applicant’s ability to complete research training
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities
  • The project’s scientific merit, research-related relevance and innovation

Applicants who have recently graduated with excellent results may also be given preference.

We offer:

  • Pay grade 50 – 56 (NOK 416 600 – 460 400 per year, depending on qualifications)
  • Professional development in a stimulating working environment
  • Good welfare benefits


Applicants must submit all of the following attachments with the electronic application, in a word- or pdf-format:

  • Application letter – what is your motivation for applying to Faculty of Humanities?
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A list of published and unpublished work, if applicable
  • Transcript of records of your master degree. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their university’s grading system.
  • Research proposal (see below)

Our electronic recruitment system will ask you to upload the attachments in the above mentioned order. Transcript of records should be uploaded as ‘Attachment’ under ‘Other’. Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Research proposal
The research proposal must not exceed 14,000 characters including spaces and is expected to answer the following seven areas:

  1. Main objective and summary of the project
  2. Background og the project
  3. Theoretical framework
  4. Research question(s) and expected findings (hypothesis)
  5. Method
  6. Proposed dissemination
  7. Progress Plan

All research proposals must be based on this template and applications with a research proposal longer than 14,000 characters will not be considered. A list of publication no longer that 3000 characters can be submitted additionally. See also Template for research proposal.

Educational certificates, master theses and the like are not to be submitted with the application, but applicants may be asked to submit such information or works later.

Interviews will be part of the application process.

See also Guidelines pertaining to the application assessment process for Doctoral Research Fellowships.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Janer’s dissertation

I had a quick read of Jordi Janer’s dissertation today: Singing-Driven Interfaces for Sound Synthesizers. The dissertation presents a good overview of various types of voice analysis techniques, and suggestions for various ways of using the voice as a controller for synthesis. I am particularly interested in his suggestion of a GDIF namespace for structuring parameters for voice control:

/gdif/instrumental/excitation/loudness x
/gdif/instrumental/modulation/pitch x
/gdif/instrumental/modulation/formants x1 x2
/gdif/instrumental/modulation/breathiness x
/gdif/instrumental/selection/phoneticclass x

Here he is using Cadoz’ division of various types of instrumental “gestures”: excitation, modulation and selection, something which would also make sense for describing other types of instrumental actions.

I am looking forward to getting back to working on GDIF again soon, I just need to finish this semester’s teaching + administrative work + moving into our new lab first…