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New Ways to Play: Designing musical interfaces


  • When? 02 December 2020 , 6pm - 7pm
  • Where? online

Acoustic musical instruments date back millennia.  Their designs, significantly determined by acoustical rather than human considerations, have typically evolved slowly and incrementally.   Computer based musical instruments are, by comparison, recent developments.   After an initial focus on the sound generation potentials of these instruments (and previously unheard sounds in particular), the last two decades have seen a growing interest in their possibilities for new kinds of (user-instrument) interaction.  

Drawing on design theory and varied examples, we will examine two priminent tropes in the burgeoning field of Music Interaction.   We will firstly explore how the separation of user interface and sound generation has created the possibility of new instruments designed around diverse human needs.  We will then move on to consider how the incorporation of generative processes further challenges acounstic models of performer-instrument interaction.   Finally, we will draw these threads together and relate them to our research, before suggesting some possible future directions for the field.

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