The Limitations of Mapping as a Structural Descriptive in Electronic Instruments

Chadabe, Joel

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Mapping, which describes the way a performer’s controls are connected to sound variables, is a useful concept when applied to the structure of electronic instruments modelled after traditional acoustic instruments. But mapping is a less useful concept when applied to the structure of complex and interactive instruments in which algorithms generate control information. This paper relates the functioning and benefits of different types of electronic instruments to the structural principles on which they are based. Structural models of various instruments will be discussed and musical examples played.