Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Week 11: In-Class Exercise - 3D Movements for Theremin

This week we received quite challenging tasks. At least for music illiterate people, since I don't play any musical instruments :)

So, our first task is: 

1. Generate concepts for consistently reproducing and generating 3D movement in space that allows for the musical composition to be accurately played on Theremin.

So, the regular notes look like this:


Source: Wikimedia

Theremin operating principles according to Wikipedia are as follows:

The theremin is distinguished among musical instruments in that it is played without physical contact. 

  1. The thereminist stands in front of the instrument and moves his or her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas. 
  2. The distance from one antenna determines frequency (pitch), and the distance from the other controls amplitude (volume). 
  3. Higher notes are played by moving the hand closer to the pitch antenna. Louder notes are played by moving the hand away from the volume antenna. 
So, in order to come up with instructions on how to play a certain composition on Theremin - we basically need to translate the regular notes to 3D signs/gestures people would use when playing a composition on Theremin. 

Here come the concept ideas: 
1. Translate each regular note into gesture language on Theremin and come up with a gesture for each note
2. Translate each regular note into gesture language on Theremin + play with one hand
3. Translate each regular note into gesture language on Theremin + play with 2 hands and a head :) 

The second part of a task is to come up with a Pugh Metrix to compare concepts against each other.

So, here are the criteria I believe are essential when it comes to playing musical compositions on Theremin. 

1. Learnability 
The shorter is the learning curve - the better 

2. Fun in the process 
The more people have fun when playing the instrument - the better it is. 

3. Complexity 
How complex the system is - whether a lot of things are required for initial use

4. Number of mistakes people make when playing
The fewer mistakes people make when playing an instrument - the better it is. 

5. Implementation cost
The cheaper the system is - the better. 




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