Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Baby, You Can Drive My Song: ESP Interface Puts Non-musicians On A Digital Road To Performance And Interpretation

Date:
June 3, 2005
Source:
University of Southern California / Viterbi School of Engineering
Summary:
A new University of Southern California computer system lets a user "drive" a piece of music, using a wheel and foot controls. The Expression Synthesis Project (ESP) interface could be in the hands of consumers within two years.

Team ESP: From left: Elaine Chew, Alexandre Francois, Liu (at wheel), Aaron Yang.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Southern California / Viterbi School of Engineering

A new University of Southern California computer system lets a user "drive" a piece of music, using a wheel and foot controls. The Expression Synthesis Project (ESP) interface, devised by a team led by Elaine Chew of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, could be in the hands of consumers within two years.

Chew presented ESP May 28 at the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) 2005 conference at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Chew, an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering, is also pianist performing a schedule of concert appearances in addition to her work at the Viterbi School's Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. She says ESP "allows everyone a chance to experience what it's like to perform. It lets them appreciate the decisions made by a musician in interpreting the music."

ESP "attempts to provide a driving interface for musical expression," according to Chew's published description. "The premise of ESP is that driving serves as an effective metaphor for expressive music performance. Not everyone can play an instrument but almost anyone can drive a car. By using a familiar interface, ESP aims to provide a compelling metaphor for expressive performance so as to make high-level expressive decisions accessible to non-experts."

Created by Chew, Alexandre R.J. François, a research professor in the Viterbi School, and graduate students Jie Liu and Aaron Yang, ESP starts with a piece of music the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) format, one that has been converted from the printed score. MIDI is the standard control language for driving musical synthesizers or other devices. François' Software Framework Architecture for Immersipresence and Modular Flow Scheduling Middleware, devised in 2001, is an important enabling element in the design of the system.

The score used as the test case in the development of ESP is the Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G-minor by Johannes Brahms. The piece was selected because it contains numerous moments of extreme speed ups and slow downs. To guide the musical performance, Chew and her colleagues used information from the score to create a "road" that corresponds to the structure of the piece. This is necessary, says Chew, because crucial cues from the score and its analysis, necessary for an informed performance, are not captured in the MIDI file.

The group is building tools to automate the process of creating such roads, applying artificial intelligence techniques to the analysis of the score. "Having the road build itself will be the most difficult part," says François.

The road's turns suggest to the driver when to slow down and speed up. however, the ultimate decision on what to do at each turn is entirely in the driver's hands (or foot). The foot pedals control both the tempo and the volume of the music. Additionally, buttons mounted on the wheel (see photo) act as the equivalent of the pedals on the piano, making the notes either sustain or cut off crisply.

Chew has carried on the ESP research at the Viterbi School's Integrated Media Systems Center, where she is Research Director for Human Performance Engineering. She is the winner of an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation.

She hopes ESP will open new doors into music for non-musicians, a chance "to try making and evaluating musical decisions themselves, to see what it's like to perform."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California / Viterbi School of Engineering. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California / Viterbi School of Engineering. "Baby, You Can Drive My Song: ESP Interface Puts Non-musicians On A Digital Road To Performance And Interpretation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050603061142.htm>.
University of Southern California / Viterbi School of Engineering. (2005, June 3). Baby, You Can Drive My Song: ESP Interface Puts Non-musicians On A Digital Road To Performance And Interpretation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050603061142.htm
University of Southern California / Viterbi School of Engineering. "Baby, You Can Drive My Song: ESP Interface Puts Non-musicians On A Digital Road To Performance And Interpretation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050603061142.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) — An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins