University of Cambridge > > Wednesday Seminars - Department of Computer Science and Technology  > Embedding Musical Codes into an Interactive Piano Composition

Embedding Musical Codes into an Interactive Piano Composition

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact David Greaves.

Sadly, today's seminar shall not take place owing to strike action.

Muzicodes is an approach to incorporating machine-readable ‘codes’ into music that allows a performer and/or composer to flexibly define what constitutes a code and then to perform around it. The codes can then act as triggers, for example to control an accompaniment or visuals during a performance. They can form an integral part of the music, and may be more or less obviously present, creating a rich space for playful interaction with an interactive music system.

I will describe how we used muzicodes to realise an interactive, non-linear classical piano composition called Climb! in which a pianist undertakes a metaphorical journey up a mountain. By playing muzicodes that are embedded into the score, the performer chooses different paths up the mountain, triggers audio effects, causes the physically actuated Disklavier piano to duet with them, controls projected visuals, and drives a programme guide on audience members’ mobile phones.

I will reflect on the experience of composing, implementing and touring Climb! to reveal how the composer, multiple pianists and audiences experienced the work. From this, I will draw out wider themes of: error and looseness; human interaction with actuated physical systems; designing for audience interpretation; and finally, the notion of the dynamic music object as a means for packaging and distributing interactive music.

Further information on Climb! is available at:

The production of Climb has been supported by the EPSRC funded Fusing Audio and Semantic Technologies for Intelligent Music Production and Consumption (FAST) programme grant.

This talk is part of the Wednesday Seminars - Department of Computer Science and Technology series.

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