Springer Series on Touch and Haptic Systems: Musical Haptics

Musical Haptics

I’m pleased to announce that my contribution to the Springer Series on Touch and Haptic Systems: Musical Haptics is now available to download for free here.
The book explores the haptic interactions that occur when we experience or perform music; specifically, the effects of combining both auditory and haptic information during performances with musical instruments. This topic is fascinating to me, as during these types of interaction, both the auditory and haptic senses receive vibrations and this type of multimodal stimulation is experienced and analysed not only by the musician, but also the audience too.
The book represents a penultimate moment in my own research because the fields of human-computer interaction, haptics, and music were all brought together for my PhD thesis. My previous research highlighted that sound, as music, was more than the auditory perception of vibration. I first noticed this phenomenon when I was working as a live sound engineer. During a gig, I often noticed that the audience were not only stimulated by the acoustic sounds produced by the PA, but also by the vibrations they experienced via other modalities; such as through the air and dance floor. Furthermore, during my studies in music technology, I observed that for performing musicians, there also existed a complex relationship between auditory–haptic interactions with acoustic and digital musical instruments (DMIs). To establish what exactly this relationship entailed, I explored multiple methodologies for evaluating DMIs, to discover what happens between musicians and their instruments while playing.
My chapter “A Functional Analysis of Haptic Feedback in Digital Musical Instrument Interactions” presents an experiment that evaluated the functionality, usability, and the musician’s experiences when using a DMI: a DMI that was capable of stimulating the haptic senses in different ways. The experiment revealed that the various types of feedback had no significant functional effect upon device performance in pitch selection tasks, but a number of significant effects were found upon the users’ perception of usability and their experiences with each of the different feedback types.
The book is jam packed with some of the most prolific authors in musical haptic research and I’m not afraid to say, I was a bit intimidated. But, I am now both honoured and proud to be included among them! The collected chapters were expertly edited and arranged by Stefano Papetti (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste) and Charalampos Saitis (Technische Universität Berlin). I look forwards now to exploring these works and incorporating them into my future research adventures. Bravo to all involved 😀

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