An interactive and generative framework towards enhancing user experiences in interactive music performance systems

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

An interactive and generative framework towards enhancing user experiences in interactive music performance systems

 

Author: Wong, Ling Elaine
Title: An interactive and generative framework towards enhancing user experiences in interactive music performance systems
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2013
Subject: Music -- Technological innovations.
Human-computer interaction.
Music and technology.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Design
Pages: 188 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2681812
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7371
Abstract: This thesis presents a theoretical framework which incorporates generative and interactive techniques in order to enhance interactivity and user experiences through interaction and collaboration between users and the system. It proposes an adaptable solution to supporting music performance through a mechanism of adjusting the interactive and generative intensity through the implementation of an interactive music performance system. In addition, it provides sharable components so that musicians or dancers can cooperate with the system and contribute knowledge in the creative process of a collaborative and dynamic generation of new music inheriting strong features of the music recorded online. In recent decade, there is a strong tendency for musicians and engineers to develop new applications based on new interfaces. Music applications equipped with innovative interactive features can easily attract attention. However, it is unavoidable for these applications to be replaced in a short period of time owing to the rapid development of technology. This makes them rather short-lived and re-writing of program code is necessary. Although this tendency can introduce new user experiences interacting with products or systems, it overlooks the need to extend the intelligence and creativity with regard to music making. While generative techniques can provide creative solutions and generative systems give rise to sophisticated generative and transformative outcomes, they are underused by existing interactive music performance systems. In view of this, a balance should be made on one hand to enhance interactive experience and to explore creativity on the other hand. On theoretical basis, the studies of Human-Computer-Interaction address issues relating to interaction, usability of interfaces, cognition and modalities when designing an interactive music performance system. However, it overlooks design issues regarding emotion, creativity and aesthetics which are critical to the design of contemporary interactive systems. There is also lack of theoretical framework towards bridging the gap between designing user interactions with the system on one hand, and designing highly algorithmic and generative systems on the other hand. New theoretical framework will be proposed to introduce new user experiences which can be further enhanced and suggest solutions for a more engaging system or product. This research proposes a theoretical framework aiming to increase interactivity between users and the system by incorporating interactive and generative techniques. It also intends to enhance user experiences and extend the engagement of the system into a deeper cognitive and creative level. Yunnan Yi Minority music performances are taken as a case study. It makes attempt to experiment new paradigm of collaboration between human performers and the system while retaining the traditional practices and techniques of performing ethnic Yi Minority music. This avails exchange of musical knowledge through interaction in the creative process.
During the literature review stage, a real public media performance was conducted in Hong Kong in 2009. I was one of the team performers responsible for keyboard playing and application development which brought out interactive features and contents to interact with the audience. Participant observation was adopted to understand the interaction with the audience and collaboration among performers in real life situation. In order to study the traditional practice and culture of performing dances and music of a group of people in depth, case study is selected as a method to have a closer examination of the music and dance performances of Yi minority group of Yunnan Province in China. Ethnographic field trip is initiated to visit a village where AXi people of Yi Minority live, called Ke Yi Village, in the east of Kunming which is the capital of Yunnan Province. Observation, field notes, video and sound recordings of the performances are major tools to understand the ethnic musical culture. A number of system prototypes are implemented with interactive and generative techniques based on the guidelines suggested by the design models. The music resulted from the systems bears some resemblance to the Yi music with its ethnic elements. These systems are used in the experiments conducted with the villagers to collect data and feedback. Results are discussed and evaluated in the thesis. This research is an attempt to integrate generative design into interactive music performance applications with ethnic minority people who are remotely connected to outside world and new digital multimedia techniques, and whose culture presents a challenge to embracing new ideas and new techniques in their music and dancing tradition. However, the field trips provided excellent opportunities for the author to know the complexity in real interactive music and dancing. They also revealed the limitations of the implemented systems in terms of its real time responses to users who are completely new to any new digital devices and interfaces. The evaluation of the implemented prototype systems provided good insights on how the integrated generative and interactive framework proposed in this research can be further enriched and improved in future research.

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