BitBox! A case study interface for teaching real-time adaptive music composition for video games

Kenneth B. McAlpine

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Real-time adaptive music is now well-established as a popular medium, largely through its use in video game soundtracks. Commercial packages, such as fmod, make freely available the underlying technical methods for use in educational contexts, making adaptive music technologies accessible to students. Writing adaptive music, however, presents a significant learning challenge, not least because it requires a different mode of thought, and tutor and learner may have few mutual points of connection in discovering and understanding the musical drivers, relationships and structures in these works. This article discusses the creation of ‘BitBox!’, a gestural music interface designed to deconstruct and explain the component elements of adaptive composition through interactive play. The interface was displayed at the Dare Protoplay games exposition in Dundee in August 2014. The initial proof-of- concept study proved successful, suggesting possible refinements in design and a broader range of applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-208
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Music, Technology & Education
Issue number2
Early online dateApr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


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