SENSORY INFORMATION AVAILABLE WHEN MUSICIANS' fingers arrive on instrument keys contributes to temporal accuracy in piano performance (Goebl & Palmer, 2008). The hypothesis that timing accuracy is related to sensory (tactile) information available at finger-key contact was extended to clarinetists' finger movements during key depressions and releases that, together with breathing, determine the timing of tone onsets. Skilled clarinetists performed melodies at different tempi in a synchronization task while their movements were recorded with motion capture. Finger accelerations indicated consistent kinematic landmarks when fingers made initial contact with or release from the key surface. Performances that contained more kinematic landmarks had reduced timing error. The magnitude of finger accelerations on key contact and release was positively correlated with increased temporal accuracy during the subsequent keystroke. These findings suggest that sensory information available at finger-key contact enhances the temporal accuracy of music performance.

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