Material-Oriented Musical Interactions

  • Tom MuddEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


This chapter explores different perspectives on the role of musical tools in musical interactions, with a particular focus on entanglements of agency. These perspectives can run the full gamut from musicians claiming to be “played by” their instruments and essentially at the mercy of the inner workings of the instruments, to musicians feeling as though the instrument is transparent, and that their inner impulses are communicated as sounds with no resistance from the instrument. Viewpoints are presented from contemporary musical practices and from instrument designers and makers, and are connected with wider theoretical accounts of agency in technology. These discussions are then brought back to the context of the design and development of digital musical instruments, and to human-computer interaction more broadly, reflecting on the relationships between designers and their technologies, and on how the design and development process can be viewed as nested inside its own chain of technological and social influences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Reid School of MusicUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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