• The haptic iPod: passive learning of multi-limb rhythm skills

      Dalgleish, Mathew,; Spencer, Steve,; Foster, Chris.; Holland, SImon; Bouwer, Anders (British Computing Society (BCS), 2011-07-04)
      Recent experiments showed that the use of haptic vibrotactile devices can support the learning of multi-limb rhythms [Holland et al., 2010]. These experiments centred on a tool called the Haptic Drum Kit, which uses vibrotactiles attached to wrists and ankles, together with a computer system that controls them, and a midi drum kit. The system uses haptic signals in real time, relying on human entrainment mechanisms [Clayton, Sager and Will, 2004] rather than stimulus response, to support the user in playing multi-limbed rhythms. In the present paper, we give a preliminary report on a new experiment, that aims to examine whether passive learning of multi-limb rhythms can occur through the silent playback of rhythmic stimuli via haptics when the subject is focusing on other tasks. The prototype system used for this new experiment is referred to as the Haptic iPod.
    • Postrum II: a posture aid for trumpet players

      Dalgleish, Mathew,; Spencer, Steve,; Foster, Chris.; Spencer, Steve; Payne, Christopher (Linux Audio Conference, 2015-04-09)
      While brass pedagogy has traditionally focussed on sound output, the importance of bodily posture to both short-term performance and longer-term injury prevention is now widely recognized. Postrum II is a Linux-based system for trumpet players that performs real-time analysis of posture and uses a combination of visual and haptic feedback to try to correct any posture issues that are found. Issues underpinning the design of the system are discussed, the transition from Mac OS X to Ubuntu detailed, and some possibilities for future work suggested.
    • POSTRUM: Developing good posture in trumpet players through directional haptic feedback

      Dalgleish, Mathew,; Spencer, Steve,; Foster, Chris.; Spencer, Steve (Society for Interdisciplinary Musicology (SIM), 2014-12-04)
      The literature of brass pedagogy has identified the typical posture problems found in trumpet players and arrived at a consensus regarding optimal body alignment. The suggestion is that poor posture may not only hinder performance but also lead to longterm injuries. This is supported by a growing body of evidence from fields as diverse as biomechanics and pervasive healthcare. After a review of the literature, we focus on the design process used to develop Postrum; a wearable system for trumpet players that uses real-time haptic feedback to encourage better posture. In response to the multifaceted nature of the activity, the design process combines two aspects from different fields: the ‘sketching in hardware’ approach developed by Moussette and Dore in the context of Interaction Design (IxD), and sensing technologies from the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) field. We follow this with a brief overview of the Postrum system. This includes a 3D camera, custom software that compares the posture of the player to an idealized model, and two vibrotactile arrays mounted on the torso. Three different types of problem can be detected, their categories based on the literature. If player posture deviates from the ideal, haptic feedback is applied. Directional pulses used to indicate the corrective action needed. Finally, we offer some remarks about our experiences in relation to player engagement and performance, discuss emerging design issues, and outline implications for what Hochenbaum and Kapur term the ‘practice room of the future.’
    • Song Walker: Embodied interaction design for harmony

      Dalgleish, Mathew,; Spencer, Steve,; Foster, Chris.; Holland, SImon; Bouwer, Anders (British Computing Society (BCS), 2011-07-04)
      Tonal Harmony is widely considered to be the most technical and complex part of music theory, and harmonic skills can be hard to acquire. Experience of the precise and flexible manipulation of harmony in real time generally requires hard-won instrumental skill. Even with instrumental skills, it can be hard to gain clear insight into harmonic abstractions. The above state of affairs gives rise to substantial barriers not only for beginners but also for many musicians. To address these problems, Harmony Space [Holland et al, 2009] is an interactive digital music system designed to give insight into a wide range of musical tasks in tonal harmony ranging from performance and composition to analysis. Harmony Space employs a principled set of spatial mappings to offer fluid, precise, intuitive control of harmony. These mappings give rise to sensory-motor, music-theoretic and information-theoretic affordances that are not readily obtainable in any other way. The result is that a wide range of harmonic abstractions are rendered amenable to concrete, visible manipulation by simple spatial means. In the language of conceptual metaphor theory, most relationships in tonal harmony become accessible, to rapid, universal, low-level, robust human inference mechanisms using image schema, such as containment, contact, centre-periphery, and source-path-goal, in place of slow, abstract symbolic reasoning. While keeping the above principles invariant, different versions of Harmony Space have been designed to exploit different detailed interaction styles for different purposes. We note some key variants, such as the desktop version [Holland, 1994], the camera tracked version [Holland et al., 2009], and the most recent whole body version, Song Walker [Holland et al., 2011]. Preliminary results from a recent study of the Song Walker system are outlined, in which both beginners and expert musicians undertook a range of solo and collaborative musical tasks involving the performance, composition and analysis of music. Finally, we offer a discussion of the limitations of the current system, and outline directions for future work.