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Interactive Sound and Music Technology for Everyone

Designing Inclusive Standards for Web Audio Applications

Time: Tue 2024-06-11 13.00

Location: Lilla salen, Royal College of Music, Valhallavägen105

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Language: English

Subject area: Human-computer Interaction

Doctoral student: Hans Lindetorp , Medieteknik och interaktionsdesign, MID, Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden, Sound and Music Computing

Opponent: Professor Roger B. Dannenberg, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, US

Supervisor: Docent Kjetil Falkenberg, Medieteknik och interaktionsdesign, MID; Associate professor Andre Holzapfel, Medieteknik och interaktionsdesign, MID; Professor Sven Ahlbäck, Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden

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QC 20240521


In this compilation thesis, I examine how systems and formats can be designed to include more people in creating interactive sound and music applications. I contribute knowledge, aiming to include everyone, but focus specifically on musicians with no programming skills and little interest in technical challenges. 

I have designed, developed, and evaluated a system – WebAudioXML (WAXML) – for implementing interactive sound and music in web pages using native web technologies. The system’s design is novel, and the work contributes knowledge about how markup language and spreadsheet concepts can describe sound and music structures. The results give insights into how high-level musical representation can be structured, named, and designed to be understood by those without prior programming experience. 

I also use WAXML to address musical diversity in interactive applications. I identify and solve technical challenges where current systems struggle to implement traditionally performed music. Novel solutions are designed, evaluated, discussed, and presented in the included papers. 

The system is finally implemented in applications aimed at education and inclusion, where I evaluate them through a series of case studies. The results confirm Web Audio as a solid platform for accessible learning, sharing, and distribution of audio applications and suggest that collective efforts shaping an ecosystem with a universal format would enable even more creators to make interactive sound and music applications. 

I research FOR the art THROUGH design. The knowledge output is valid for any interactive sound and music system but specifically addresses the design of Web Audio applications.