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The Wave Digital Filter (WDF) approach to discretizing electronic circuits has generated substantial interest in the Virtual Analog research community, which is attracted to the potential for systematic and modular simulation of vintage electronic musical instruments (e.g., synthesizers, drum machines) and audio effects (e.g., guitar amplifiers, distortion pedals). Unfortunately, traditional WDF techniques falter at the complexity of typical audio circuits, which contain complicated (non-series/parallel) topologies and multiple nonlinear devices (e.g., diodes, transistors, triodes). In this dissertation, I review classical WDF techniques and propose novel ways of systematically modeling circuits with complicated topologies and multiple nonlinearities. Throughout, the classic Bass Drum circuit from the Roland TR-808 serves as a motivating example and each of the four chapters contains a case study simulating a different one of its subcircuits. The first two chapters consider linear reference circuits. After deriving the standard WDF building blocks and demonstrating their use in a simulation of the TR-808 Bass Drum's output filter, I explain their substantial limitations in the context of modeling analog audio circuitry. To overcome these limitations, I introduce a novel Modified-Nodal-Analysis-based approach to creating WDFs from circuits with complicated (non-series/parallel) topologies and show it in action on several versions of the Bass Drum's central circuit (the Bridged-T Resonator). The next two chapters consider nonlinear reference circuits. I review the standard WDF technique for handling reference circuits with a single one-port nonlinear device, exemplified by a model of the TR-808 Bass Drum's Pulse Shaper subcircuit. In order to overcome the limitation to a single nonlinearity, I propose a novel approach that accommodates multiple nonlinearities and apply it towards a simulation of the full nonlinear version of the Bass Drum's Bridged-T Resonator. Together, these four case studies form a complete model of the TR-808 Bass Drum that almost exactly matches the behavior of the real circuit, demonstrating the utility of the classical WDF techniques combined with my proposed methods. Beyond this case study, the proposed methods enable the simulation of a huge class of audio circuitry that was previously beyond the scope of WDF modeling.
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It is well known that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is no stranger to mass spectacle. Less widely known, however, is that Kim Jong Il is credited with the authorship of several aesthetic treatises on the principles of North Korean music and drama. Somewhat surprisingly, these principles accord remarkably with many of those of the Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk, even though Wagner's works, whether prose or musical, are virtually unknown in the DPRK. The prospect of direct influence is thus minimal. My dissertation explores these unlikely parallels by tracing the evolution and development of the Gesamtkunstwerk idea from Wagner's Germany to Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao's China, and finally Kim Jong Il's DPRK. I argue that Wagner's ideas resonate at least as strongly with the political and artistic aims of these states as they do with those of the West, as evinced by the flowering of the total work of art across Eurasia that took place in the twentieth century.
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The Web has evolved far beyond its original function as the vehicle of information sharing through hypertext, but the spirit of collaboration remains central to the Web. With the arrival of HTML5 and new browsers capable of streaming audio and complex graphics, new and unprecedented opportunities have arisen. The advent of Web Audio API in 2010 took real-time audio processing within web browser to a new level, giving birth to a new breed of interactive, visually rich, and networked music software. This thesis investigates the potential of web music technology within the context of collaborative musicking. I adopt the verb `musicking', coined by the late Christopher Small, in the title, to underscore the nature of music as an active process rather than a static object. The dissertation commences with a concise review of the intersections and convergence of the Web and music technology. Following this historical review of web music technology, a theoretical framework is proposed. The subsequent chapters describe technical efforts to implement this theoretical basis and empirical experimentation through a series of `case studies'. We conclude with a critical evaluation of the work and a look toward the future. The work offers a novel model for classification of collaborative computer music production (Chapter 2), and an innovative software framework that facilitates the development of web-based music applications (Chapter 3) that are illustrated in case studies (Chapter 4). Unlike many written dissertations, this thesis documents a living and organic project that is best studied directly engaging with the environment described within. The reader is encouraged to pursue the thesis while directly interacting with this project on the Web. All code examples and operational prototypes discussed in the text are available at \url{https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~hongchan/WAAX} keeping in mind that the very nature of this project is one that enables and encourages collaborative creativity - indeed, `musicking' - on an unprecedented massive scale.
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Taking my installation from 2012, The Workshop at the Back of the Barracks, this paper discusses how my reflections on this piece influenced the development of the five subsequent electroacoustic chamber compositions. During the installation the acoustic sound materials, that is, the movements and gestures of the visitors interacting with this installation, became embedded into an ongoing automated live electronic stream of sound. This embedding created what I call alternative audio images of the movements and gestures, something more than the creation of 1-plus-1electronic processing relationships. Similarly, the acoustic materials for each of the chamber pieces were created through a series of simple reinterpretations of standard notation made during the compositional process. These reinterpretations were analogous to the parameter value shifts that produced the live electronic streams. Following some introductory remarks and a description of the installation, the original performance instructions and scores for each of the subsequent chamber pieces are presented. In addition, the main elements of the source acoustic materials for each piece and their principle reinterpretations are described. Further, each chapter includes a description of the autonomous live electronic streams that the chamber musicians - performing the reinterpreted acoustic materials - became embedded into, and the alternative audio images, which were also produced by this embedding.
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In his Dictionary of Musical Terms (ca. 1475) and Art of Counterpoint (1477), theorist and composer Johannes Tinctoris famously articulated a threefold hierarchy of music genres consisting of song, motet, and mass. Musicologists have traditionally attached significant weight to Tinctoris's tripartite scheme, analyzing each genre independently, considering the origins of each separately, and organizing modern editions in terms of genre. My dissertation focuses on the myriad ways in which musicians connected genres to one another in the fifteenth century, quoting secular songs in masses and motets; composing motets in the style of songs, re-texting songs so that they could be sung as motets, and subsuming liturgical chant into the texture and context of courtly songs; combining motets into substitute mass cycles, and even extracting mass sections and re-texting them as songs. Whereas some of these interconnections, masses based on songs in particular, have received a good deal of scholarly attention, others such as motets based on songs, have largely gone unrecognized. By considering genres not in isolation but in communication with one another, my dissertation makes the case for genre as a determinant of borrowing practices. Moreover, I argue that dissimilarity between genres was a driving force behind their commingling. Recognizing the significance and pervasiveness of generic interconnectivity sheds new light on some of the thorniest issues of the fifteenth century, including the style of Josquin's famous Ave Maria...virgo serena; the origins of and relationship between Ockeghem's D'ung aultre amer, the motet Tu solus, qui facis mirabilia, and the Missa D'ung aultre amer, both attributed to Josquin; and the motet cycle Vultum tuum.
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As a whites-only venue in the heart of Harlem that capitalized on exotic and stereotyped conceptions of black culture, predicated on the "slumming" economy of Harlem nightlife, the Cotton Club (active 1923-1936) has met its share of censure and reprobation. As home to some of the most influential jazz musicians, performers and songwriters of the 1920s and 30s, however—Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Harold Arlen, Ethel Waters, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Adelaide Hall, to name a few—the significance of this singular institution cannot be denied. I argue that training a spatial lens on interwar Harlem jazz provides access to this complex musical world, bypassing valuations of the Cotton Club's "good and bad" cultural aspects or perceived musical authenticity and focusing instead on the everyday lives of the musicians and audiences who labored in and consumed the Harlem nightlife industry. Triangulating the performance of music, race and space over a decade of Harlem life, through a single institution, reveals not a monolithic Harlem scene but a multivalent "Harlem moment." The oral histories of Cotton Club performers, rare press materials, and the reporting of historic black newspapers together reveal another side of Harlem, beyond the spectacle of the Jazz Age. Close studies of the Cotton Club tenures of Ellington, Calloway and Arlen in the three core chapters of this dissertation examine the early careers of these seminal figures by treating their output not as "pure" musical expression but as a negotiation between competing pressures of art and commerce; modernism and primitivism; high and low culture; racial fact and fiction. In doing so, paradigmatic compositions such as "The Mooche" (1928), "Minnie the Moocher" (1931) and "Stormy Weather" (1933) take on new meaning and resonance, while a host of forgotten music assumes relevance.
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A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not is the first in a series of modular works that scale the same 64 seconds of music according to a simple, iterative algorithm. This process governs all temporal and timbre parameters. In the string quartet exhibited here, a replicative process yields a rich and unique aural result in response to the strict application of compositional process.
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Engaging listeners is an inherent goal of music. The concept of 'musical engagement', however, carries multiple connotations and remains difficult to quantify or even define. In particular, an objective measure of musical engagement is lacking. Over past decades, cortical responses have been used to investigate processing of music. While these responses are objective and can be recorded in real time, they suffer from a low signal-to-noise ratio and reflect, at best, an abstraction of the corresponding stimuli. As a result, approaches to this research have historically focused primarily on controlled stimuli with limited ecological validity, and event-related averaging of responses, which requires short stimulus epochs and numerous stimulus presentations. Responses to real-world stimuli have proven challenging to analyze and interpret. How can we move beyond these limitations to derive a measure of engagement with 'real' music (i.e., naturalistic and complete musical works) from the brain response? In this thesis, we address these limitations by introducing a novel analysis framework for interpreting listeners' responses to music, with the ultimate goal of developing a meaningful, quantitative, and dynamically changing index of musical engagement. We draw from recent approaches in neuroscience and physiology that use synchrony of audience responses to study engagement in other domains. Specifically, we examine time-resolved inter-subject correlations (ISCs) of cortical, physiological, and behavioral responses to musical pieces heard in their entirety. The current approach is facilitated by a recently developed method that efficiently extracts relevant, stimulus-related activity from a complex, noisy response. This method allows for full-length, ecologically valid stimuli to be presented in a single-listen experimental paradigm. The proposed methodologies are tested and evaluated in two experiments. First, we validate the approach by deriving cortical components from scalp-recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) responses to intact and scrambled songs and computing their ISCs. In a second experiment, we broaden the context of the approach by comparing EEG-ISCs to the activity and synchrony of physiological and continuous behavioral responses. This work makes several novel contributions to the field of music cognition. First, we show that the presence of temporally relevant musical features produces a consistent component topography in the brain response. Furthermore, the ISCs computed from this component are higher when such musical features are retained. We additionally employ a novel approach to experimental design, choosing highly engaging stimuli that were unknown to our participants, and introducing computational procedures for manipulating the stimuli. Finally, we demonstrate that brain responses to full-length musical works from various genres and styles can be successfully analyzed in a single-listen paradigm.
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Writing on the Wind: Composing Nature and the Supernatural encompasses two works, The Four Winds and Chant Etudes. The Four Winds, a vocal quartet for three sopranos and mezzo-soprano, is a collection of five pieces inspired by scientific and mythological incarnations of the wind. Chant Etudes, a collection of solo pieces for voice and makeshift wind instruments, was developed over the course of a year through ritual improvisation.
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Humans negotiate unpredictable environments every day. Responding to and engaging with new situations and rule-sets as and when they arise is quotidian, not a new or outlandish phenomenon. Interplay of object and meaning, interpretation via deduction and assumption, testing our theories and asking "what if I...?" in multimodal 3D environments happens in museums, galleries, concert halls and amusement parks but also in regular human interaction. There are no contexts that lack variables: we enlist templates that contain possibility spaces over scripts that forbid them. The phenomenon of the template—the signifying structure that stands in for the content—provides extremely fertile ground for an artistic praxis that seeks structural experimentation. The template is fallible in its incompleteness, humble in its neutral identity and aims of accessibility, and at the same time lifeless without human engagement and awesome in the multitude of possible branches it possesses. A template is a composed space that invites addition, subtraction, transformation, and reorganization. As participants in such composed spaces we are often unaware of the potential we possess as co-composers, as players. My work asks all those present to consider their significance as co-composers, as players in music spaces. In this portfolio of new works I draw on recent play research and explore composed possibility spaces for music experiences. I engage aspects of ritual, role and boundary in four new intermedial works: Situation #1: Agency (for Players, Explorer and Guide), Situation #2: Human Forms (a self-guided sound-sculpture audio tour), Situation #3: Interstices (for audience members, electronics, video and percussionist), and Metanoia: A Journey in 6 Scenes (a virtual environment for singers, percussion and single interacting player).
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"Eighteenth-century music is, in one sense, all dance music." Igor Stravinsky's words remind us that the sublimation of social dance into art music constitutes the lynchpin of classical forms that he, like many other neoclassical composers, returned to after the First World War. After Theodor W. Adorno positioned Stravinsky as a regressive antipode to Schoenberg the Progressive, aligning the former's music with reactionary, even fascist ideological tendencies, "neoclassicism" has had to shoulder disparate meanings and derogatory connotations. The term's checkered reception history, which includes classical appropriations by totalitarian art, brings together culture, politics and aesthetics in volatile constellations with one another. An event-based, dance-centered approach to studying what I call neoclassical gestures -- musical, choreographic and political elements that refer backward and outward through the amalgamation of past and present cultural allusion -- presents an opportunity to move beyond the historical moment of Adorno's polemic by contextualizing neoclassicism's community-forming potential while, at the same time, emphasizing its stylistic and ideological heterogeneity. My dissertation both broadens and qualifies the phenomenon of neoclassicism in music by investigating three interwar ballet productions: Francis Poulenc's Les Biches (1924), Kurt Weill's Die sieben Todsünden (1933), and Constant Lambert's Horoscope (1938). Designed to explore diverse European neoclassicisms through the lens of music-dance relationships, these case studies seek to capture the shifting perspectives and social factors that defined the cultural landscape during this period. Of key significance to this intermedial analysis is the mutable role played by irony. By showing how the diverse uses of popular dance by interwar composers went hand in hand with classical emulation and aspirations toward classicality, this dissertation establishes the terms for a reconciliation between neoclassical repertoire and the modernist canon.
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Laughter is a universal human response to emotional stimuli. Though the production mechanism of laughter may seem crude when compared to other modes of vocalization such as speech and singing, the resulting auditory signal is nonetheless expressive. That is, laughter triggered by different social and emotional contexts is characterized by distinctiveness in auditory features that implicate certain state and attitude of the laughing person. By implementing prototypes for interactive laughter synthesis and conducting crowdsourced experiments on the synthesized laughter stimuli, this dissertation investigates acoustic features of laughter expressions, and how they may give rise to emotional meaning. The first part of the dissertation (Chapter 3) provides a new approach for interactive laughter synthesis that prioritizes expressiveness. Our synthesis model, with a reference implementation in the ChucK programming language, offers three levels of representation: the transcription mode requires specifying precise values of all control parameters, the instrument mode allows users to freely trigger and control laughter within the instrument's capacities, and the agent mode semi-automatically generates laughter according to its predefined characteristic tendency. Modified versions of this model has served as a stimulus generator for conducting perception experiments, as well as an instrument for the laptop orchestra. The second part of the dissertation (Chapter 4) describes a series of experiments conducted to understand (1) how acoustic features affect listeners' perception of emotions in synthesized laughter, and (2) the extent to which this observed relationships between features and emotions are laughter-specific. To explore the first question, a few chosen features are varied systematically to measure their impact on the perceived intensity and valence of emotions. To explore the second question, we intentionally eliminate timbral and pitch-contour cues that are essential to our recognition of laughter in order to gauge the extent to which our acoustic features are specific to the domain of laughter. As a related contribution, we describe our attempts to characterize features of auditory signal that can be used to distinguish laughter from speech (Chapter 5). While the corpus used to conduct this work does not provide annotations about the emotional qualities of laughter, and instead simply labels a given frame as either laughter, filler (such as 'uh', 'like', or 'er'), or garbage (including speech without laughter), this portion of research nonetheless serves as a starting point for applying our insights from Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 to a more practical problem involving laughter classification using real-life data. By focusing on the affective dimensions of laughter, this work complements prior works on laughter synthesis that have primarily emphasized the acceptability criteria. Moreover, by collecting listeners' response to synthesized laughter stimuli, this work attempts to establish a causal link between acoustic features and emotional meaning that is difficult to achieve when using real laughter sounds. The collection of research presented in this dissertation is intended to offer novel tools and framework for exploring many more unsolved questions about how humans communicate through laughter.
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Despite opera's well-known exclusivity, the genre has in fact consistently been the target of popularizing initiatives, a point often overlooked in accounts of its history. This dissertation identifies and explains trends in efforts to democratize opera in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Examining both traditional live performance and opera's dissemination through new media formats, this research is the first to illuminate patterns in the great variation in the presentation style of popularly oriented opera in America over the last century, revealing novel source materials that challenge existing views of the genre. I argue that these little-explored democratizing initiatives have been dominated by ideals of uplift (1895-1920), integration (1920-1970), and authenticity (1970-present). Three case studies represent the prevailing trend of each era: Henry Savage's English Grand Opera Company (1895-1912), the NBC-TV Opera Theater (1949-64), and the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD broadcasts (2006-present [2014]). I also show how changing ideologies about the role of "high culture" in society, sociodemographic shifts in the composition of the middle and upper classes and the immigrant population, and technological advances in mass media such as TV and HD satellite broadcasts have informed the emergence and character of these opera popularization strategies.
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This dissertation is comprised of two musical works that set the poetry of Matthea Harvey. These songs explore themes of terror, contingency, complacency, and the grotesque. The first musical work presented here is "as if to hold the hemispheres of their own heads together (black; dahlia 1)" for flute, oboe, tenor saxophone, soprano, violin, violoncello, and double bass. This piece sets Harvey's "How We Learned to Hold Hands, " from the poet's collection Modern Life. Ensemble Dal Niente premiered "as if to hold the hemispheres of their own heads together (black; dahlia 1)" in January, 2014. The second musical work presented here is "the future of terror, " for flute and soprano. This song cycle sets Harvey's series "The Future of Terror, " also from her collection Modern Life. Liz Pearse and Élise Roy — for whom this work was written — premiered "the future of terror" in May, 2014.
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While the phenomenon of operatic singing in classical Hollywood cinema is well known, the topic has been marginalized in opera / film studies of the past twenty-five years. Indeed, the very fact that, between 1926 and 1938, all of the Hollywood studios announced plans for full- and feature-length movie operas has escaped historical notice. During the same period, various studios experimented with introducing operatic performances in the context of conventional narrative pictures, as a means of preparing cinema audiences for fully sung opera on screen. Drawing on hundreds of previously unexamined sources, this study reveals the full extent of Hollywood's operatic ambitions during the early sound era, illuminating a phase of cultural development during which opera, in various Hollywood forms, reached a wider audience than ever before. The dissertation consists of five chapters and an epilogue, which proceed in more or less chronological order. Chapter 1 traces the early history of American cinema's relationship with opera, from the visionary projections of Thomas Edison in the late-1880s through the early years of sound. Here I examine the conceptual origins of Hollywood opera, and the various technological and aesthetic barriers to the production of full-length operas on film. Chapter 2 focuses on The Rogue Song (1930), and considers how MGM and various other studios, believing American cinema audiences to be unready for fully sung opera on film, set about cultivating appreciation for the operatic voice in movies. Chapter 3 treats Columbia Pictures' One Night of Love (1934), and the ensuing "opera boom" of 1935-1938, during which Hollywood filmmakers employed opera as a dramatic element in conventional narrative pictures. Chapter 4 explores the emergence of "imaginary" opera—custom-made opera sequences commissioned by the studios to fulfill specific dramatic needs, and as a supplement to the repertoire of well-known and popular (genuine) operatic arias, many of which, by 1936, had already been filmed. Chapter 5 discusses the revival of Hollywood's plans to produce full-length movie operas in 1935, and the subsequent abandonment of those plans with the end of the opera boom in February 1938. In an epilogue I briefly survey the continued presence of operatic performances in Hollywood movies 1939-1962, highlighting two films—Serenade (1956) and My Geisha (1962)—which, respectively, anticipate the techniques of New Hollywood and "art" films, post-1970.
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In applications such as audio denoising, music transcription, music remixing, and audio-based forensics, it is desirable to decompose a single-channel recording into its respective sources. One of the most promising and effective classes of methods to do so is based on non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) and related probabilistic latent variable models (PLVMs). Such techniques, however, typically perform poorly when no isolated training data is given and offer no mechanism to improve upon unsatisfactory results. To overcome these issues, we present a new interaction paradigm and separation algorithm for single-channel source separation. The method works by allowing an end-user to roughly paint on time-frequency displays of sound. The rough annotations are then used to constrain, regularize, or otherwise inform an NMF/PLVM algorithm using the framework of posterior regularization and to perform separation. The output estimates are presented back to the user and the entire process is repeated in an interactive manner, until a desired result is achieved. To test the proposed method, we developed and released an open-source software project embodying our approach, conducted user studies, and submitted separation results to a community-based signal separation evaluation campaign. For a variety of real-world tasks, we found that expert users of our proposed method can achieve state-of-the-art separation quality according to standard evaluation metrics, and inexperienced users can achieve good separation quality with minimal instruction. In addition, we show that our method can perform well with or without isolated training data and is relatively insensitive to model selection, thus improving upon past methods in a variety of ways. Overall, these results demonstrate that our proposed approach is both a general and powerful separation method and motivates further work on interactive approaches to source separation. To download the application, code, and audio/video demonstrations, please see http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~njb/thesis.
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Although music was a prominent—and sometimes inescapable—feature of international expositions ("world's fairs"), studies rarely address the sonic elements of these large public occasions. Instead, historians have focused on exposition architecture, advertisement, and exhibits. Music, however, played a significant role in shaping the experience of many expositions. Administrators allocated relatively large budgets for musical activities and scrupulously planned the musical programming. Newspaper and witness accounts attest to the ubiquity of musical performances in exhibit halls, exposition thoroughfares, specially designed concert halls, and amusement zones. Yet music was not just physically present on fairgrounds; it often stood at the center of heated disputes over national representation among administrators, critics, and audiences. This dissertation analyzes the musical activities of four international expositions held in Santiago de Chile, Philadelphia, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco between 1875 and 1915, the "golden age" of international expositions. Using an interdisciplinary approach that engages with research in history, cultural studies, and musicology, I have examined how exposition music contributed to representations of identity on fairgrounds, particularly along lines of gender, ethnicity, nationality, and class. I account for the wide variety of musical production that occurred in and around exposition grounds, including (but not limited to) the mainstream musical events sponsored by exposition administrators. As one might expect, heavily publicized mainstream musical events usually reinforced dominant social hierarchies by presenting the music of middle- and upper-class white men as evidence of human advancement. This dissertation, however, argues that groups marginalized by official exposition events—including women, American Indians, and middle-class Argentines—also saw music as a powerful means of representation, and sometimes used musical events to provide alternative representations of themselves. At Latin American expositions, organizers used musical events to situate their nations as full members of the international community, counteracting the marginalization and exoticization that they often faced at expositions held in the United States and Europe.
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Our expectations for how visual interactions sound are shaped in part by our own learned understandings of and experiences with objects and actions, and in part by the extent to which we perceive coherence between gestures which can be identified as "sound-generating" and their resultant sonic events. Even as advances in technology have made the creation of dynamic computer-generated audio-visual spaces not only possible but increasingly common, composers and sound designers have sought tighter integration between action and gesture in the visual domain and their accompanying sound and musical events in the auditory domain. Procedural audio and music, or the use of real-time data generated by in-game actors and their interactions in virtual space to dynamically generate sound and music, allows sound artists to create tight couplings across the visual and auditory modalities. Such procedural approaches however become problematic when players or observers are presented with audio-visual events within novel environments wherein their own prior knowledge and learned expectations about sound, image and interactivity are no longer valid. With the use of procedurally-generated music and audio in interactive systems becoming more prevalent, composers, sound-designers and programmers are faced with an increasing need to establish low-level understandings of the crossmodal correlations between visual gesture and sonified musical result both to convey artistic intent as well as to present communicative sonifications of visual action and event. For composers and designers attempting to build evocative and expressive procedural sound and music systems, when the local realities of any given virtual space are completely flexible and malleable, there exist few to no dependable locale-specific models upon which to base their choices of mapping schemata. This research focuses jointly on the creative and technical concerns necessary to build procedurally-generated crossmodal musical interactions, as well as on the perceptual issues surrounding specific mapping schemata linking interactions with sound and music. A software solution and methodology are presented to facillitate the mapping of parameters of action, motion and gesture from virtual space to sound-generating process, allowing composers and designers to repurpose real-time data as drivers for compositional and sound-related process. Creative and technical examples drawn from a series of multimodal musical experiences are presented and discussed, exploring a variety of potential mapping schemata as well as the inner workings of the presented codebases. To assess the perceived coherence between motion and gesture in the visual modality and generated sound and musical events in the auditory modality, this research also details a user-study measuring the impact of audio-visual crossmodal correspondences between low-level attributes of motion and sound. Subjects taking part in a controlled study were presented with multimodal examples of musically sonified motion in a pairwise comparison task and asked to rate the perceived fit between visual and auditory events. Each example was defined as a composite set of simple motion and sound attributes. Study results were analyzed using the Bradley-Terry statistical model, effectively calculating the relative contribution of each crossmodal attribute within each attribute pairing to the perceived coherence or 'fit' between audio and visual data. The statistical analysis of correlated motion/sound mappings and their relative contributions to the perceptual coherence of audio-visual interactions lay the groundwork towards the establishment of predictive models linking attributes of sound and motion to perceived fit.
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This dissertation is comprised of a single work, Resonances, which was written and premiered by Elision Ensemble. The compositional motivation behind Resonances was driven by the following two questions pertaining to the acoustic peculiarities of wind instruments: (1) Is it possible to design an algorithmic system to formulate various degrees of polyphonic correlations, which would yield multiple formal relations as a function of acoustic distinctiveness?; (2) If so, how perceptible would the resulting polyphony be? Focusing on the deviation degrees of acoustic properties, Resonances views the instruments as complex acoustic mechanisms. I represent the complexity of each instrument in a matrix, the inputs of which are various acoustic measurements of a wind instrument. An algorithm operates on these matrices to generate new matrices. Then, the output matrices are plotted in a multidimensional space through which various geometric relations (in terms of deviational scaling) are devised to formulate formal structures.
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In 1963, four years after recording Kind of Blue, his most successful album to date, Miles Davis began to assemble a new ensemble to record and tour. But much had changed in those four years. Ornette Coleman's sensational 1959 premiere at the Five Spot Café in Manhattan's East Village introduced audiences to a free improvised "new thing" in jazz and marked the emergence of an avant-garde. In turn, critics quickly portrayed Coleman, along with Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, and others, as insurrectionists who were intent on shattering the jazz tradition. Meanwhile, jazz venues in New York shuttered as the city government implemented urban renewal programs that targeted vice districts for "slum clearance, " reshaping the city's topography and impinging upon its music culture. As the "new thing" gained increasing critical attention, and musical experimentalism among emergent and veteran improvising musicians flourished, the music of Miles Davis's "Second Quintet" gradually became more "free." This dissertation offers an explanation of this stylistic change via the experimentalism of the so-called jazz avant-gardists, tracing how "free" (i.e. timbral, chromatic, polymetric, and free meter) improvisation proliferated in their live and studio recordings up to 1968. I suggest that the increasing abstraction and volatility of the Quintet's music can be best understood in the context of the jazz avant-garde and the tumultuous social and structural changes of the 1960s. I index the stylistic change of the Quintet chronologically across four chapters. Chapter One discusses the emergent jazz avant-garde and New York City's changing jazz culture and infrastructure circa 1959. The first half of Chapter Two is an exegesis of avant-gardism in critical jazz literature; the second half of the chapter goes into detail on the improvisational and compositional techniques of the jazz avant-garde. Chapter Three explores three important events in the Quintet's timeline: the departure of tenor saxophonist George Coleman, the addition of Sam Rivers on the group's Japanese tour in the summer of 1964, and the Quintet's several-week engagement at Chicago's Plugged Nickel nightclub featuring Wayne Shorter in December 1965. Chapter Four begins with an overview of a revealing critic roundtable on the jazz avant-garde printed in a 1965 issue of Down Beat magazine that vividly illustrates the mostly negative reception of the "new thing" and the relatively narrow space that these artists had to respond to criticism. The latter half of the chapter shows the Quintet's transformation between 1966-67, comparing the growing abstraction and intensity in their music with that of Cecil Taylor's 1966 LP Unit Structures. By focusing on free improvisation and calling into question genre as reliable taxonomy for artistic praxis, I seek to provide deeper understanding of Miles Davis's music and that of the jazz avant-garde of the 1960s, acknowledging experimentation as an important pretext for innovation. Utilizing archival research, comparative music analysis, and original musician interviews, I show how expressive freedom was a shared ideal among improvising musicians across the musical field, from the underground into the mainstream. As such, experimentalism, I argue, is the link between the jazz avant-garde and Davis's quintet during a transformational moment in American music history.
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