Virtual Reality

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 149–157 | Cite as

Musical creativity in collaborative virtual environments

  • Stephen BarrassEmail author
  • Tim Barrass
Original Article


A review of musical creativity in collaborative virtual environments (CVE) shows recurring interaction metaphors that tend from precise control of individual parameters to higher level gestural influence over whole systems. Musical performances in CVE also show a consistent re-emergence of a unique form of collaboration called “melding” in which individual virtuosity is subsumed to that of the group. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that CVE could be a medium for creating new forms of music, and developed the audiovisual augmented reality system (AVIARy) to explore higher level metaphors for composing spatial music in CVE. This paper describes the AVIARy system, the initial experiments with interaction metaphors, and the application of the system to develop and stage a collaborative musical performance at a sound art concert. The results from these experiments indicate that CVE can be a medium for new forms of musical creativity and distinctive forms of music.


CVE Creativity Music Sound art Interaction Performance 



The consumers were A/Prof. Stephen Barrass (direction), Tim Barrass (programming), Dr. Alistair Riddell (sound), Anita Fitton (graphics), Onaclov (theatre), Dr. Peter Morse (semiotics). We would especially like to thank Jun/Prof. Steffi Graf and Dr. Leonie Schäfer for their encouragement, incredible patience and invaluable help with this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sonic Communications Research GroupUniversity of CanberraCanberraAustralia

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