Duet Musical Companion: Improvisational Interfaces for Children

Ventura, David and Mase, Kenji

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We present a sensor-doll interface as a musical outlet forpersonal expression. A doll serves the dual role of being bothan expressive agent and a playmate by allowing solo andaccompanied performance. An internal computer and sensorsystem allow the doll to receive input from the user and itssurroundings, and then respond accordingly with musicalfeedback. Sets of musical timbres and melodies may bechanged by presenting the doll with a series of themed clothhats, each suggesting a different style of play. The doll mayperform by itself and play a number of melodies, or it maycollaborate with the user when its limbs are squeezed or bent.Shared play is further encouraged by a basic set of aural tonesmimicking conversation.