Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Supervisor

Lindsay Vickery


The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate and document a research project undertaken in the designing, constructing and performing of an interactive music system. The project involved building a multi-user electro-acoustic music instrument with a tangible user interface, based on the technology of the reacTable. The main concept of the instrument was to integrate the ideas of 1) interpreting gestural movement into music, 2) multi-touch/multi-user technology, and 3) the exploration of timbre in computer music. The dissertation discusses the definition, basics and essentials of interactive music systems and examines the past history and key features of the three main concepts, previously mentioned. The original instrument is observed in detail, including the design and construction of the table-shaped physical build, along with an in-depth look into the computer software (ReacTIVision, Max MSP and Reason) employed. The fundamentals and workings of the instrument- sensing/processing/response, control and feedback, and mapping- are described at length, examining how tangible objects are used to generate and control parameters of music, while its instrumental limitations are also mentioned. How the three main concepts relate to, and are expressed within, the instrument is also discussed. An original piece of music, with an accompanying video, entitled Piece for homemade reacTable, composed and performed on the instrument has been created in support of this dissertation. It acts as a basic demonstration of how the interactive music system works, showcasing all the main concepts and how they are put in practice to create and perform new electronic music.

Included in

Composition Commons