Physicists figure out how "swing" works

Score one for science!

Geisel is a theoretical physicist with the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and the University of Göttingen in Germany. He spent decades studying the physics of synchronization — for example, how the billions of neurons in your brain coordinate with each other. He’s also a passionate amateur saxophonist. He even has a band with other physicists. … [His retirement provided] more time to use his theoretical physics toolkit to explore other mysteries of the universe, including this one: How do musicians synchronize when they try to create swing in jazz?


Ever since I started messing about with computer DAW programs (late 90s), the drum machines in them have always had ‘swing’ and other micro-timing offset programs to inject ‘feel’ into a groove. The DAWs now have presets that move all the other instrument timings around to get the correct groove from the arrangement. No physicist required, why didn’t they just ask a drummer…