Personalised Interactive Sonification of Musical Performance Data

Wolf, KatieAnna and Fiebrink, Rebecca. 2019. Personalised Interactive Sonification of Musical Performance Data. Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces, 13(3), pp. 245-265. ISSN 1783-7677 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this article, we describe methods and consequences for giving audience members interactive control over the real-time sonification of performer movement data in electronic music performance. We first briefly describe how to technically implement a musical performance in which each audience member can interactively construct and change their own individual sonification of performers’ movements, heard through head- phones on a personal WiFi-enabled device, while also maintaining delay-free synchronization between performer movements and sound. Then, we describe two studies we conducted in the context of live musical performances with this technology. These studies have allowed us to examine how providing audience members with the ability to interactively sonify performer actions impacted their experiences, including their perceptions of their own role and engagement with the performance. These studies also allowed us to explore how audience members with different levels of expertise with sonification and sound, and different motivations for interacting, could be supported and influenced by different sonification interfaces. This work contributes to a better understanding of how providing interactive control over sonification may alter listeners’ experiences, of how to support everyday people in designing and using bespoke sonifications, and of new possibilities for musical performance and participation.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Interactive sonification, Music performance, Audience interaction, New interfaces for musical expression

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing > Embodied AudioVisual Interaction Group (EAVI)


20 December 2018Accepted
13 March 2019Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Nov 2018 12:28

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 17:21

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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