Software to Improve MIDI Controller Usability and Understanding the Influence of Digital Technology in Music Creation

Haslet, William, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Morrison, Briana, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Wayland, Kent, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The thesis portfolio contains a technical report and an STS research paper, connected by the overarching theme of technology in music. The technical report proposes a MIDI modification software that seeks to improve the usability of MIDI controllers. The motivation for designing this software is the lack of convenient options to configure MIDI controllers, and the limited functional potential of configuration when the option is provided. By using software to control MIDI messages, users are able to use MIDI controllers more flexibly. The STS research paper analyzes the mutual shaping of digital technology and music creation in order to understand the shaping of the perspectives of opponents and proponents of the use of digital technology in music creation. Conflict over the artistic legitimacy of digital music and the superiority of sound created analog technology can be misunderstood as simple resistance to changing technology or aesthetic preferences, but by considering the participants’ history with music, economic factors, and the accessibility of digital technology, these arguments around digital technology in music can be better understood.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
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