Conducting Gesture Recognition, Analysis and Performance System

Participants: Paul Kolesnik
Marcelo M. Wanderley (supervisor)
Conducting gestures.
Funding: NSERC Discovery Grant (M. Wanderley)
Project Type: Master's thesis (M.A. in Music Technology)
Time Period: Sept. 2002–Aug. 2004 (Completed.)

Project Description

A number of conducting gesture analysis and performance systems have been developed over the years. However, most of the previous projects either primarily concentrated on tracking tempo and amplitude indicating gestures, or implemented individual mapping techniques for expressive gestures that varied from research to research. There is a clear need for a uniform process that could be applied toward analysis of both indicative and expressive gestures.


The proposed system provides a set of tools that contain extensive functionality for identification, classification and performance with conducting gestures. Gesture recognition procedure is designed on the basis of Hidden Markov Model (HMM) process. A set of HMM tools are developed for Max/MSP software. Training and recognition procedures are applied toward both right hand beat- and amplitude- indicative gestures, and left hand expressive gestures. Continuous recognition of right-hand gestures is incorporated into a real-time gesture analysis and performance system in Eyesweb and Max/MSP/Jitter environments.



  • Paul Kolesnik and Marcelo M. Wanderley. “Recognition, Analysis and Performance with Expressive Conducting Gestures.” In Proceedings of the 2004 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC2004), Miami, Fl., 2004.
  • Paul Kolesnik and Marcelo M. Wanderley. “Implementation of the Discrete Hidden Markov Model in Max / MSP Environment.” Proceedings of the FLAIRS 2005 Conference.
  • Paul Kolesnik. “Conducting Gesture Recognition, Analysis and Performance System.” M. A. thesis. McGill University, 2004.