Aesthetics and Design for Group Music Improvisation
Performing music as a group—improvised or from sheet music—is an intensive and immersive interaction activity that bears its own aesthetics. Players in such a setting are usually skilled in playing an instrument up to the level where they do not need to focus on the “operation” of the instrument, but can instead focus on higher-level feedback loops, e.g., between players in their section or the entire group. Novel technology can capitalize on these higher level feedback loops through the creation of interactive musical instruments that stimulate playing in groups (collaborative music rather than parallel music). However, making this experience accessible to fresh or novice players involves two challenges: how to design (1) musical instruments for such a setting and experience, and (2) instrument support that extends the interaction between players to their instruments. This allows to interact not only via their instrument with other human players, but directly with other instruments, producing a much richer and more intertwined musical experience. The paper shows results from a class of design students and reports on the lessons learned.
KeywordsDesign Interaction design System design Music Improvisation Co-creation
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