Title page for ETD etd-03272013-153428

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Albert, Jeffrey Vernon
Author's Email Address jalber4@lsu.edu, jeff@jeffalbert.com
URN etd-03272013-153428
Title Interactive Musical Partner: A System for Human/Computer Duo Improvisations
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Beck, Stephen David Committee Chair
Allison, Jesse Taggert Committee Member
Boutwell, Brett N Committee Member
Grimes, William F Committee Member
Naraghi-Pour, Morteza Dean's Representative
  • improvisation
  • interactive
  • computer music
Date of Defense 2013-03-14
Availability unrestricted
This research is centered on the creation of a computer program that will make music with a human improviser. This Interactive Musical Partner (IMP) is designed for duo improvisations, with one human improviser and one instance of IMP, focusing on a freely improvised duo aesthetic. IMP has Musical Personality Settings (MPS) that can be set prior to performance, and these MPS guide the way IMP responds to musical input from the human. The MPS also govern the probability of particular outcomes from IMPís creative algorithms. IMP uses audio data feature extraction methods to listen to the human partner, and react to, or ignore, the humanís musical input, based on the current MPS.

This course of research presents a number of problems. Parameters for the Musical Personality Settings (MPS) must be defined, and then those parameters must be mapped to extractable audio features. A system for musical decision-making and reaction/interaction (action/interaction module) must be in place, and a synthesis module that allows for MPS control must be deployed.

Designing a program intended to play with an improviser, and then improvising with that program has caused me to assess every aspect of my practice as an improviser. Not only has this research expanded my understanding of the technologies involved and made me a better technologist, but striving to get the technology to be musical has made me look at all sides of the music I make, resulting in a better improvising artist.

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