Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Music maestro! Bringing out the conductor in you

06.02.2008
New information and communications technologies are rapidly transforming our lives in many areas. A new European research project is looking at ways of harnessing technological advances to make musical education more accessible and enhance teaching practices.

The traditional method of teaching music is based on verbal feedback from the teacher and relatively short teacher-pupil contact. New technologies provide opportunities to extend the options available to both students and teachers, and to develop new pedagogical tools which could enhance the learning experience – either by providing alternative forms of feedback or by offering access to interactive training materials during and outside the lesson itself.

The i-Maestro project is currently investigating different ways in which ICT tools can be harnessed to improve music training in both theory and practice, and exploring the potential of interactive multimedia environments for technology enhanced learning.

Mirror, mirror, ...
“One of the areas we are looking at is gesture analysis,” says project coordinator Dr Kia Ng. “The ‘i-Maestro 3D Augmented Mirror’ we developed uses motion-capture technology to provide interactive feedback to the musician on their bowing technique and posture, which can greatly affect the quality of sound produced.”

Twelve infrared cameras capture the performer’s movements in 3D with synchronised audio and video recordings. The software analyses the motion data and provides multi-modal feedback using visual and auditory displays.

“A performed gesture can be compared with a set of pre-recorded gestures which allows both the teacher and the student to see clearly every detailed nuance of posture and bowing technique,” notes Ng.

This also has implications for professional musicians who frequently suffer from career threatening injury, much of which can be traced back to bad posture. Dr Ng believes that the use of 3D imagery and sensor technologies could have a beneficial impact for many musicians and make it much easier for teachers to spot potential problems.

3D motion capture is still relatively expensive but facilities can be hired and the EU-funded project is working to develop a more economic sensor-based interface.

Knowing the score
Another area being looked at is ways of presenting and accessing the musical score. i-Maestro is extending and developing MPEG Symbolic Music Representation (SMR) to help integrate multimedia functions and musical score information. MPEG SMR is being used to support new, improved pedagogical tools for interactive home learning, as well as for use in classroom situations. It is also be used to improve the accessibility of music to those with visual or other impairments.

The ‘score follower’, for example, is able to ‘listen’ to the player and track his/her location within the score, allowing functions such as automated page turning, or simply following the score of a piece of music as it is being played. Taking it a stage further, the ‘score follower’ could allow functions like musical accompaniment, where a backing track can be synchronised to the musician’s performance.

“Learning and playing with others is a key part of musical education,” notes Ng. “However, access to this kind of experience may be limited. The technologies we are developing, such as the cooperative environment, could help make it much more accessible – at least in virtual terms.”

Virtual music school
Part of the project’s work focuses more particularly on music education in schools and the provision of novel tools for teachers and students in a networked school context. The ‘School Server’ is being developed and tested as a key resource, providing online access to lesson materials and various shared tools: metronome, tuner, various collaborative tools, an MPEG SMR viewer, and others.

Students will also be able to access exercise materials from home and teachers will be able to gather practice data from students and so monitor their work virtually.

As a further tool for teachers, the ‘exercise generator’ will support the (semi-)automated creation of exercises. “Teachers will be able to create teaching material corresponding to the level of a student, or a group of students, in a simple way, thus helping to personalise the tuition,” adds Ng.

Many prototype tools are already available and are expected to be incorporated in various new products and services, which will be made available to both the general public and educational establishments. These are in the process of being validated and refined and the project is inviting music teachers and students to take part in the initial testing phase of the i-Maestro software.

“We are particularly interested in testing the system in real pedagogical situations to see how teachers and students interact with the technology,” confirms Ng. In addition, the ICSRiM - University of Leeds (UK) is organising open lab sessions for people to come and try out the i-Maestro 3D augmented mirror system.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/id/89495

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

nachricht Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation
18.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Algorithmen und Wissenschaftliches Rechnen SCAI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika

23.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>