Syncphonia: understanding the value of participatory design in developing music technology to support musical ensembles that use notation

Hughes, Ed, Eldridge, Alice and Kiefer, Chris (2020) Syncphonia: understanding the value of participatory design in developing music technology to support musical ensembles that use notation. Journal of Music, Technology and Education, 13 (1). pp. 57-77. ISSN 1752-7066

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Abstract

The benefits of ensemble performance are well recognized; notation supports group performance, but cuts in music education and changing musical cultures mean that notation is increasingly perceived as a barrier to entry. In an extended participatory design (PD) project, we co-designed and developed a software system for networked notation called <i>Syncphonia</i> with the aim of enhancing access to and experience of notation-based ensemble performance. In previous work, our formal evaluation and informal observations and feedback revealed a wide range of benefits. In this article, we are concerned with articulating the knowledge generated and insights gained through this extended PD process. To do so, we employ a framework for systematic reflection that has been designed to support investigation into the tacit knowledge generated in participatory design. Through this method, we focus inward and share three insights into the value of networked notation in contemporary musical cultures; we also look outward and articulate five approaches to PD with musical ensembles that might benefit others adopting this rich research method. A pluralistic and inclusive vision of notation is espoused and speculation is submitted that a dynamic, networked notation might ameliorate the boundaries between composing, improvising and performing to the benefit of all three.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Ensemble Performance, Musical Experience, Participatory Design, Networked Notation
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2020 14:14
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2021 12:02
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/93950

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