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Per Anders Nilsson


Per Anders Nilsson


A Field of Possibilities - Designing
and Playing Digital Musical Instruments

Dissertation in Musical Performance and Interpretation, 2011.


This thesis focuses on a set of digital musical instruments Per Anders Hansson has designed and developed with ensemble improvisation in mind. The intention is not to create a universal improvisational instrument, but rather to create a set of instruments which each realize one musical idea. His research addresses the meaning and relations between activities in two stages, design time and play time. In short, design time is conception, representation, and articulation of ideas and knowledge outside of chronological time, whereas play time takes place in real-time and concerns bodily activity, interaction, and embodied knowledge. In this work aesthetics play a crucial role. At design time my aesthetic preferences guide the design process, whereas in play time, a subjective aesthetic tenet is that musical improvisation has strong similarities to gaming and play. One hypothesis states that choices made during the design process at the development stages of a digital musical instrument significantly influence ensemble improvisation and musical results at play time.

A digital instrument in this work constitutes a field of possibilities, which in play actualizes the aesthetic decisions of its designer, and in cases where the designer and player are one, during play there will be a double influence: directly through the player’s actions, and indirectly through the nature of the instrument.

This is thesis no 30 in the ArtMonitor dissertation series.

ISBN: 978-91-978477-8-0


This dissertation is published in English.

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The disseration is e-published

The dissertation is e-published in GUPEA (Göteborgs universitets publikationer - Elektroniskt Arkiv). Download the dissertation

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