Music and HCI Network (CHIME)

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Faculty of Sci, Tech, Eng & Maths (STEM)

Abstract

Music is a central part of human life, and a major contributor to the UK economy.
Computing is changing how music is created, performed, distributed, stored, navigated, adapted, appropriated, consumed and manipulated. These transformations are creating new opportunities and challenges for research in Music and Human Computer Interaction, research that covers: interactive music systems; digital and virtual musical instruments; innovative approaches to existing musical activities; and tools that make new kinds of musical activity possible. These new developments will affect performers, composers, audiences, educators, learners, musicologists, app builders, assistive technologists, businesses and charities.

UK researchers carry out internationally excellent research in this area, but many are isolated, scattered across the country, and housed in diverse disciplines, leading to missed opportunities to collaborate across disciplines with potential academic and industrial partners. The CHIME network (Computer Human Interaction and Music nEtwork) is designed to address and overcome this problem.

The CHIME network will connect academics, researchers, SMEs, charities and industrial partners in order to pool and expand ideas, drive new research, and develop collaborative projects around emerging issues in the field.

Research in music and human computer interaction is useful not only to musical activities and relevant industries, but also in finding ways to make computers easy to control and understand. Music and human computer interaction has inspired numerous innovations in human computer interaction, for example in gestural interfaces, data gloves and touch interaction.

Research in music and human computer interaction is also useful in areas where one's whole body plays a key role in the interaction. This is because many musical activities involve coordinating the whole body, in real-time, often collaborating with other people, while dealing with significant perceptual and cognitive demands. Techniques for wearable motion capture originally developed for musicians are now being used in clinical applications. For example, a system developed to help drummers co-ordinate arm and leg movement has found application in managing physical rehabilitation after stroke.

Because of this recognised synergy between music and HCI, a network that brings together researchers in music and HCI along with interested parties from industry and charities will have the capacity to create new theories, products, approaches and services not only for musicians, the music industry and audiences, but may also contribute to how we interact with computers generally.

The network will meet formally twice a year to support new collaborative ventures. Key international keynote speakers will be invited to provide insights from overseas research labs, and to engage with network activities. Training will be provided for members and new researchers in domains such as: interactive machine learning, expressive haptics complementing audio, accessible instruments, methodologies for design and evaluation in music interaction, gesture sensing, direct brain interaction, real-time biosensing, live coding and liveness, digital arts, culture 3.0 and diversity. In addition to direct training workshops, suitable topics will be explored in publicly accessible panel discussions, talks and online workshops, to be live streamed and archived.

Publications

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