Computer-assisted musical instrument tutoring with targeted exercises




Percival, Graham Keith

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Learning to play a musical instrument is a daunting task. Musicians must execute unusual physical movements within very tight tolerances, and must continually adjust their bodies in response to auditory feedback. However, most beginners lack the ability to accurately evaluate their own sound. We therefore turn to computers to analyze the student's performance. By extracting certain information from the audio, computers can provide accurate and objective feedback to students. This thesis lays out some general principles for such projects, and introduces tools to help practicing rhythms and violin intonation. There are three distinct portions to this research: automatic exercise creation, audio analysis, and visualization of errors. Exercises were created with Constraint Satisfaction Programming, audio analysis was performed with amplitude and pitch detection, and errors were displayed with a novel graphical interface. This led to the creation of MEAWS, an open-source program for music students.



computer-assisted instruction, music education, rhythm practice, violin intonation practice