The music paint machine. An embodied constructivist approach to technology-enhanced instrumental music instruction

Begin - Einde 
2008 - 2012 (afgewerkt)
Vakgroep Kunst-, Muziek- en Theaterwetenschappen



In this PhD project two worlds were brought together: the world of the traditional musical instruments and the world of technology. This was achieved via an interactive music system, called the "Music Paint Machine" (MPM), which is designed to support and enrich instrumental music teaching and learning. The MPM allows a musician to create a digital painting by playing music with a (traditional) musical instrument in combination with various body movements. Properties of the music (for example pitch, loudness) and of certain movements (for example twisting, bending) are converted into visual properties (for example, a vertical position on the digital sign sheet, thickness of a line or point).

The research question of the project was as follows:

How and to what degree can an interactive music system contribute to the development of an embodied understanding of music when learning how to play a musical instrument?

Addressing this research question resulted in three parts: a teaching, a technological and an empirical part. The educational component starts from a number of criticisms formulated in the literature on traditional education and continues with proposing an embodied-constructivist approach to instrumental music learning and teaching. The technological part starts from existing systems with their advantages and disadvantages and concerns the development of the Music Paint Machine (concept, software and hardware). The empirical part involved the experiments performed with the Music Paint Machine and the development of a methodological framework.


English summary of the thesis: (use arrows to brows through the text!)