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Thursday, July 3 • 11:30 - 12:58
Dimensionality and Appropriation in Digital Musical Instrument Design

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Dimensionality and Appropriation in Digital Musical Instrument Design
Victor Zappi and Andrew McPherson
Queen Mary University of London

Long Paper

This paper investigates the process of appropriation in digital musical instrument performance, examining the effect of instrument complexity on the emergence of personal playing styles. Ten musicians of varying background were given a deliberately constrained musical instrument, a wooden cube containing a touch/force sensor, speaker and embedded computer. Each cube was identical in construction, but half the instruments were configured for two degrees of freedom while the other half allowed only a single degree. Each musician practiced at home and presented two performances, in which their techniques and reactions were assessed through video, sensor data logs, questionnaires and interviews. Results show that the addition of a second degree of freedom had the counterintuitive effect of reducing the exploration of the instrument's affordances; this suggested the presence of a dominant constraint in one of the two configurations which strongly differentiated the process of appropriation across the two groups of participants.

Authors
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Andrew McPherson

Lecturer in Digital Media, Queen Mary University of London
Andrew McPherson is an electronic engineer, composer and instrument designer. His research focuses on augmented acoustic instruments and new performance interfaces which build on traditional instrumental training. Recent projects include the magnetic resonator piano (electromagnetically-augmented acoustic piano) which has been used in over a dozen pieces including projects with the London Chamber Orchestra and the band These New Puritans; and the... Read More →
avatar for Victor Zappi

Victor Zappi

Postdoctoral Fellow, Universtiy of British Columbia
_Electronic engineer in love with Music and New Media Art | _DMI design and test, vocal synthesis, embedded technologies, Virtual and Augmented Reality, dance and movement | _We don't necessarily have to talk about work ( ;


Thursday July 3, 2014 11:30 - 12:58
New Academic Building: LG02

Attendees (13)