Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This research is centered on the creation of a computer program that will make music with a human improviser. This Interactive Musical Partner (IMP) is designed for duo improvisations, with one human improviser and one instance of IMP, focusing on a freely improvised duo aesthetic. IMP has Musical Personality Settings (MPS) that can be set prior to performance, and these MPS guide the way IMP responds to musical input from the human. The MPS also govern the probability of particular outcomes from IMP’s creative algorithms. IMP uses audio data feature extraction methods to listen to the human partner, and react to, or ignore, the human’s musical input, based on the current MPS. This course of research presents a number of problems. Parameters for the Musical Personality Settings (MPS) must be defined, and then those parameters must be mapped to extractable audio features. A system for musical decision-making and reaction/interaction (action/interaction module) must be in place, and a synthesis module that allows for MPS control must be deployed. Designing a program intended to play with an improviser, and then improvising with that program has caused me to assess every aspect of my practice as an improviser. Not only has this research expanded my understanding of the technologies involved and made me a better technologist, but striving to get the technology to be musical has made me look at all sides of the music I make, resulting in a better improvising artist.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Beck, Stephen David



Included in

Music Commons