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Musings on music making and listening: supervisory control and virtual reality

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1 Author(s)
T. B. Sheridan ; Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Newton, MA, USA

This paper offers two perspectives on the relation between music and supervisory control. The first is that music making can be viewed as a three-level hierarchy of control and feedback interactions. The top level is the composer or conductor interacting through hand and auditory signals with the musician's conscious (higher brain level) activity. The mid level is internal to the musician, the higher brain centers interacting with the musician's subconscious neuromuscular activity. The lowest level is the musician's neuromuscular system interacting with the musical instrument. At each level there are constraints that are discussed in the paper. A second perspective refers to a phenomenon of music listening, its capability to engender a sense of virtual reality (or virtual presence) in much the same way that observing a computer-generated visual scene can make an observer feel present in a place other than where he or she is physically located.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:92 ,  Issue: 4 )