UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

KEYed user interface : an HCI theoretic design of a novel music composition interface Mohamed Ali, Mohamad Farhan


User interfaces in music composition workstations have become cumbersome, especially as they require the use of multiple input devices, such as an electronic piano keyboard, a computer keyboard, and a mouse, repetitively during a composing task. Considering this, our goal is to give the composer a more transparent interface which allows him to focus on the creative aspects of music composition. Novel and intuitive interfaces for music composition workstations can be designed by applying the findings and principles from the field of human computer interaction. One such design is the KEYed user interface, an ergonomic method for controlling music composition software from an electronic piano keyboard by adding a momentary foot pedal as a mode switch. Features for complex sound editing and control are integrated into the system; therefore, the user interface requires far fewer operations to achieve various music production tasks. This helps the composer focus on musical, rather than operational, issues. The results from our experiments with the KEYed user interface show that composers are able to perform production tasks faster when compared to their performance with present user interface setups. Further, they experience enormous comfort, naturalness and intimacy when being engaged with the new interface. The piano keyboard mappings, combined with a single-point touchpad for performing multi-degree of freedom tasks, provide increased speed and intimacy with the controls for improving comfort, thereby enhancing the expressivity of the composer during composition.

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