Creative process of computer-assisted composition and multimedia composition: visual images and music

Chen, C 2006, Creative process of computer-assisted composition and multimedia composition: visual images and music, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Creative process of computer-assisted composition and multimedia composition: visual images and music
Author(s) Chen, C
Year 2006
Abstract This research study investigates how music technology can enhance and develop the musical ideas of students, focusing on the creative processes involved in computer-assisted composition and multimedia composition. The study investigates the Creative Multimedia Music Project, a module of the Associate of Arts (Music) Degree where students are using computers as music workstations. The aims of the study are (a) to evaluate the use of music technology for composing; (b) to describe the creative process of composing and investigate how the students comprehend this; and (c) to analyze the relationship between the creative process of the musical treatment and the visual image in multimedia composition.

The study is conducted in an exploratory, self-directed environment where the students make musical decisions about their compositions. From the preliminary survey, 10 out of 45 music-major students (Year Two) from the Associate Degree Music Program at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) were selected.

Composition activities took place over 15 sessions. The first phase focused on computer-assisted composition and the second phase focused on multimedia composition. The students attended lectures on alternate weeks. This gave them enough time to compose in the laboratory or at home, allowing them to explore, make decisions, and evaluate decisions. Data were collected from four sources: (1) written reports including a musical analysis of the creative process, (2) one-to-one interviews conducted during and after the creative process (15 questions were asked in each phase), (3) self-reflective journals that students maintained during their creative process, and (4) MIDI file observations after the creative process had occurred. After data collection, commonalities between each of these data sources were analyzed. This highlighted that during the creative process, a developmental pattern emerged that extends Webster's model (2003) of creative thinking in music. The relationships between the findings and the lite rature review were articulated to reinforce the creative thinking model, trends, and perspectives from different sources.

Through an analysis of these students' creative processes and the strategies they adopted while composing with music technology, research projects such as this one may provide composers, music technologists, and music educators with insights into how students approach the task of composing using music technology. The findings might prove as a useful guidance to music educators on how to structure computer-assisted composition and multimedia composition programs for different age groups from school to university.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Computer composition
Music -- Computer programs
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