A qualitative analysis of composers at work.

Eaglestone, Barry, Brown, Guy, Ford, Nigel, Moore, Adrian and Nuhn, Ralf (2002) A qualitative analysis of composers at work. In: Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) ‘02, Gothenburg, Sweden. International Computer Music Association, San Francisco, USA, pp. 572-580. . [Book Section]


This paper presents preliminary results of an empirical study investigating the compositional process of electroacoustic composers at work. These results are then related to requirements for enhanced composition systems which might better support creativity.

The novelty of this research relates to different aspects; its methodology, its subject matter and its results. It is the first in-depth study, using qualitative research methods – such as the triangulation of data collected through a range of relatively unobtrusive techniques in naturalistic settings – of how electroacoustic composers interact with computer-based composition systems when they are being creative.

In one respect the study was particularly stimulating for Nuhn's subsequent research because it revealed that many composers who work with computer based systems ‘suffer' from the distance between physical reality and the virtual computer data. This finding relates directly to the underlying motivation behind UNCAGED which aims to ‘uncage' screen-based realities from the confines of their digital existence and to bring the remote computer world closer to our human experience.

This full paper – of which Nuhn was principal author – was presented at a significant conference on Computer Music, for which it was selected through anonymous peer review.

The methodological approach for this study has been discussed in more depth in:
Eaglestone, BM, Ford, N., Nuhn, R., Moore, A., Brown, G. (2001). “Composition systems requirements for creativity: what research methodology?”, Proc. MOSART Workshop on Current Research Directions in Computer Music, Barcelona, pp 7-16, ISBN 84-88042-37X.

An expanded account of the study is given in:
Eaglestone, BM, Ford, N., Nuhn, R., Moore, A., Brown, G. (2002) “Requirements specification for a composition tools system”, MOSART Network Report Task 6, 49 pages.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 479
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2008 14:57
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:11
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/479

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.