Wilkie, Katie; Holland, Simon and Mulholland, Paul
Evaluating musical software using conceptual metaphors.
In: Proceedings of BCS Human-Computer Interaction (HCI 2009), 1- 5 September 2009, Cambridge UK.
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An open challenge for interaction designers is to find ways of designing software to enhance the ability of novices to perform tasks that normally require specialized domain expertise. This challenge is particularly demanding in areas such as music analysis, where complex, abstract, domain-specific concepts and notations occur. One promising theoretical foundation for this work involves the identification of conceptual metaphors and image schemas, found by analyzing discourse. This kind of analysis has already been applied, with some success, both to musical concepts and, separately, to user interface design. The present work appears to be the first to combine these hitherto distinct bodies of research, with the aim of devising a general method for improving user interfaces for music. Some areas where this may require extensions to existing method are noted.
This paper presents the results of an exploratory evaluation of Harmony Space, a tool for playing, analysing and learning about harmony. The evaluation uses conceptual metaphors and image schemas elicited from the dialogues of experienced musicians discussing the harmonic progressions in a piece of music. Examples of where the user interface supports the conceptual metaphors, and where support could be improved, are discussed. The potential use of audio output to support conceptual metaphors and image schemas is considered.
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