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Communities of sound: Examining meaningful engagement with generative music making and virtual ensembles

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In this article, we examine the affordances of the concept of network jamming as a means of facilitating social and cultural interaction, that provides a basis for unified communities that use sound and visual media as their key expressive medium. This article focuses upon the development of a means of measuring social and musical benefit through correlation with meaningful engagement and provides examples of inclusive ensembles, and the specification of musical knowledge through algorithmic and educational experience design. This research builds on the design and development of the jam2jam family of generative software and hardware applications. An emerging theoretical model for observing meaningful engagement in community music making is examined against three case studies selected from a larger scale long-termed research project. In this analysis of case studies we specifically employ an observational tool called the meaningful engagement matrix, discuss its development and describe how it functions to feed back data which informs software development, theories of social engagement and experience design.

Keywords: engagement; ensemble; generative; meaning; network; virtual

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Queensland University of Technology.

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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