Contexts of Collaborative Musical Experiences

Blaine, Tina and Fels, Sidney S.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We explore a variety of design criteria applicable to thecreation of collaborative interfaces for musical experience. Themain factor common to the design of most collaborativeinterfaces for novices is that musical control is highlyrestricted, which makes it possible to easily learn andparticipate in the collective experience. Balancing this tradeoff is a key concern for designers, as this happens at theexpense of providing an upward path to virtuosity with theinterface. We attempt to identify design considerationsexemplified by a sampling of recent collaborative devicesprimarily oriented toward novice interplay. It is our intentionto provide a non-technical overview of design issues inherentin configuring multiplayer experiences, particularly for entrylevel players.