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Title: Effortful interaction : a new paradigm for the design of digital musical instruments
Author: Ward, Nicholas
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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Human movement is central to instrumental musical performance. Beyond the apparent connection between sound-producing actions and the sounds themselves, movement can communicate emotion, musical intention and structure. In designing an acoustic instrument, the requirements to support the vibration and manipulation of strings or membranes constrain the possibilities for action that facilitate performance. In Digital Musical Instrument (OM!) design, however, no specific physical requirements for movements exist. Electronic sound production and sensing systems expand the possibilities for performance movement far beyond that typically associated with acoustic instruments. This is indicated by the OM! design community's focus on sound synthesis and sound-gesture mapping; little attention is given to movement qualities of the performance interaction. This thesis seeks to redress this imbalance, by developing and testing a coherent method for installing bodily movement in OM! designs. Upon considering existing frameworks for description of human movement, both generally and in musical performance specifically, Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) was identified as a suitable method for exploring and designing for movement. Laban 's theory of Effort was selected to observe and analyse existing Theremin performances, and, from this analysis, tested in a novel OM!, the Damper. Following this, further re-iterations of LMA observation and analysis were carried out to strengthen this descriptive method. From these initial studies, and existing design theory, a formal movement-based OM! design process was constructed, and implemented in the design of another novel OM! interface, the Twister. This interface was designed to the specific quality of movement, Carving, as defined by LMA. An observational analysis showed that naIve users did respond to the device with the intended movement qualities. This thesis therefore provides a procedural framework with which to design for movement in DMls, and initial testing indicates that it is indeed possible to design DM! interfaces that invite desired movement qualities
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available