Guidelines for composing locative soundtracks

Hazzard, Adrian (2016) Guidelines for composing locative soundtracks. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis investigates the composition of original adaptive musical soundtracks for locative walking activities such as cultural visiting, mobile games and urban, and nature walks; those semi-formal orchestrated walking experiences. This investigation views the ‘soundtrack’ – similarly to those typically found in ‘display’ media experiences such as films and computer games – as an accompaniment rather than the principal feature of the experience. Thus its role is to support and enhance the walking ‘narrative’. In order to best achieve this the soundtrack needs to be heard as congruent and embedded into the activity.

This thesis is oriented towards the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and also at composers of such soundtracks; reflecting the thesis’s intention to develop guidelines for locative soundtrack composition that draws upon detailed mappings between musical structure and spatial structure that drives the creation and experience of both.

An initial study explored how a group of participants interpreted and responded to different musical features which adapted to their walking routes. This study revealed that participants formed a set of connections between the physical space and the musical structures. These findings were then used to motivate an in-the-field design, composition and deployment of a large-scale adaptive soundtrack for a public cultural visiting experience, which was subsequently experienced by a group of visitors. This study revealed that the soundtrack was considered congruent with the activity and was deeply engaging, quite distinct from a typical visit to this site. These research activities are reflected upon and discussed to distil a framework of guidelines for composing locative soundtracks that is generalizable to other settings and activities.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Benford, S.D.
Burnett, G.E.
Keywords: walking, soundtracks, hci, human-computer interaction, soundscapes, music
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 31967
Depositing User: Hazzard, Adrian
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2016 06:40
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 05:45

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