Towards a model of musical interaction and communication

TitleTowards a model of musical interaction and communication
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMurray-Rust, Dave, and Smaill Alan
Journal TitleArtificial Intelligence
Pages1697 - 1721
ISSN Number0004-3702
KeywordsMulti-agent systems

In this paper we argue there is a need for a formalised description of musical interaction, which allows reasoning about the musical decisions of human and computational players. To this end, we define a simple model of musical transmission which is amenable to distribution among several musical agents. On top of this, we construct a model of musical perception, based on analysis functions from the musical surface to values on lattices. These values are then used to construct a musical context, allowing for a music-oriented version of concepts such as common ground. This context allows for the interpretation of individual musical output as a stream of discrete actions, with the possibility of constructing sets of performative actions, analogous to those used in Speech Act Theory. This allows musical agent systems to construct output in terms of a communicative dialogue, and should enable more responsive, intelligent participation from these virtual musicians. Finally, we discuss a prototype system which implements these concepts in order to perform piano duets with human performers, and discuss how this theory can be seen as a better defined extension of previous theories.

Citation Keymurray-rust2011Musical