MetaMuse: Metaphors for Expressive Instruments

Gadd, Ashley and Fels, Sidney S.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We explore the role that metaphor plays in developing expressive devices by examining the MetaMuse system. MetaMuse is a prop-based system that uses the metaphor of rainfall to make the process of granular synthesis understandable. We discuss MetaMuse within a framework we call ”transparency” that can be used as a predictor of the expressivity of musical devices. Metaphor depends on a literature,or cultural basis, which forms the basis for making transparent device mappings. In this context we evaluate the effect of metaphor in the MetaMuse system.