Drum-Dance-Music-Machine: Construction of a Technical Toolset for Low-Threshold Access to Collaborative Musical Performance

Becking, Dominic and Steinmeier, Christine and Kroos, Philipp

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Most instruments traditionally used to teach music in early education, like xylophones or flutes, encumber children with the additional difficulty of an unfamiliar and unnatural interface. The most simple expressive interaction, that even the smallest children use in order to make music, is pounding at surfaces. Through the design of an instrument with a simple interface, like a drum, but which produces a melodic sound, children can be provided with an easy and intuitive means to produce consonance. This should then be further complemented with information from analysis and interpretation of childlike gestures and dance moves, reflecting their natural understanding of musical structure and motion. Based on these assumptions we propose a modular and reactive system for dynamic composition with accessible interfaces, divided into distinct plugins usable in a standard digital audio workstation. This paper describes our concept and how it can facilitate access to collaborative music making for small children. A first prototypical implementation has been designed and developed during the ongoing research project Drum-Dance-Music-Machine (DDMM), a cooperation with the local social welfare association AWO Hagen and the chair of musical education at the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld.