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Computer-Supported Cooperative Work for Music Applications

Title Computer-Supported Cooperative Work for Music Applications
Publication Type Master Thesis
Year of Publication 2002
Authors Barbosa, A.
preprint/postprint document files/publications/0fbbc9-PhD-Abarbosa-2006.pdf
Abstract Early work in the field of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) oriented towards musical applications was mostly based in local interconnected musical networks (IMNs), however with recent technological advances, especially in internet computing, and the advent of powerful low-cost personal computers, different types of collaborative network tools were developed, providing the possibility to approach geographical displacement in the context of music and sonic arts.

Most applications developed until now explore the possibilities of (a) creating networks of users in which digital audio or symbolic documents can be exchanged amongst contributors; (b) providing a channel for Tele-presence between performative spaces.

These approaches are an important contribution to the efficiency and flexibility of traditional collaboration paradigms for music creation, since they allow long distance interaction in performance, composition, improvisation, education and even in general distribution of music to a broader audience.

However, it is well-known that the Internets network latency is a major drawback when trying to achieve a desirable real-time synchronous collaboration. It can be demonstrated that at the global level this technological condition will prevail in the future, even though for communication networks in geographically constrained areas it is only valid at the present state of development.

This research work focuses on an aspect of internet collaborative work which goes beyond the idea of enhancing the established acoustic communication paradigms The possibility to create community oriented Shared Virtual Environments (SVEs) in the context of Music and Sonic Arts, providing the basis for an emergent class of applications and systems. In these systems users can dynamically join and leave a group in a collaborative ongoing performance based on the simple manipulation of sound objects from a soundscape, or even on the creation of musical structures.

Like in similar paradigms, oriented towards visual or textual communication, this concept tends to lead to new mechanisms of interaction not usually found in a musical context, and it is an open area of research with many ontological questions to be addressed.

The objective of this research work is contributing to the field of computer-supported cooperative work for music applications by identifying and addressing these questions departing from the hypothesis that new meaningful sonic results can be achieved in shared virtual environments oriented towards acoustic communication.