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An object-oriented real-time simulation of music performance using interactive control


Dyer, Lounette M. (1991) An object-oriented real-time simulation of music performance using interactive control. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/cy26-vp85.


This thesis presents a software architecture for interactive control of real-time music performance by sound synthesizers. The architecture is based on a model of a real world orchestra performance. An object-oriented paradigm is used to define objects that are one-to-one with the real world entities: a conductor, performers, instruments, a score, and parts. Methods are defined for the objects to simulate some of the dynamic behavior of the conductor and performers during the performance. A detailed design of each of the objects is presented, and the objects and their real world counterparts are compared. An abstract digital music representation is defined to represent the musical composition that is to be performed by the system. The device independence of the representation is highlighted. A real-time control mechanism is described that allows a human user to control various aspects of the performance in musically expressive ways. The model is implemented in a system called ZED, which has been shown to simulate some of the dynamic behavior of a live orchestra. Issues concerning the trade-off between runtime efficiency and runtime flexibility are addressed in detail, as well as how these issues affect real-time scheduling. Optimization techniques are presented that help insure timeliness. ZED provides two levels of programmability: the orchestration of a score and the interpretation of real-time inputs can be defined in a configuration file; and new methods and subclasses can be added to the system to provide new functionality. The architecture, coupled with the object-oriented features of inheritance and encapsulation, are shown to provide the system with flexibility and extensibility, making ZED an ideal platform for developing and evolving real-time interactive control applications.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Computer Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Mead, Carver
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:28 May 1991
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-08102006-081706
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3086
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:23 Aug 2006
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 22:58

Thesis Files

PDF (Dyer_lm_1991.pdf) - Final Version
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