Song Walker

Harmony Space is an interactive digital music representation system designed to give beginners and experts insight into a wide range of musical tasks ranging from performance and analysis to composition.

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When combined with whole-body interaction to create the Song Walker version (Holland et al., 2009), Harmony Space allows users to enact complex harmonic phenomena physically via mappings between a) bodily movement and b) conceptual metaphors and blends for musical abstractions. This approach affords rapid, concrete means of reasoning about and manipulating abstract musical entities and relationships by exploiting intuitions associated with bodily movement and navigation.

Song Walker employs four dance mats, four wireless controllers (wii remotes and nunchucks), various foot pedals, a large projection screen and a synthesizer. When operated by a solo player, one dance mat is used to navigate around in the projected space. Squeezing the trigger on the wii remote visibly and audibly plays the chord associated with the current location and situation. When operated by multiple players, additional dance mats may be used simultaneously in a variety of collaborative ways, for example, to navigate key changes or to harmonically invert or otherwise alter the chords. Single players , or groups, are typically able to play, and start to gain insight into, relatively complex music within a matter of minutes.