SoundStrand: a Tangible Interface for Composing Music with Limited Degrees of Freedom

Shahar, Eyal

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

SoundStrand is a tangible music composition tool. It demonstrates a paradigm developed to enable music composition through the use of tangible interfaces. This paradigm attempts to overcome the contrast between the relatively small of amount degrees of freedom usually demonstrated by tangible interfaces and the vast number of possibilities that musical composition presents. SoundStrand is comprised of a set of physical objects called cells, each representing a musical phrase. Cells can be sequentially connected to each other to create a musical theme. Cells can also be physically manipulated to access a wide range of melodic, rhythmic and harmonic variations. The SoundStrand software assures that as the cells are manipulated, the melodic flow, harmonic transitions and rhythmic patterns of the theme remain musically plausible while preserving the user’s intentions.