John, the semi-conductor : a tool for comprovisation

11/16/2018 ∙ by Vincent Goudard, et al. ∙ 0

This article presents "John", an open-source software designed to help collective free improvisation. It provides generated screen-scores running on distributed, reactive web-browsers. The musicians can then concurrently edit the scores in their own browser. John is used by ONE, a septet playing improvised electro-acoustic music with digital musical instruments (DMI). One of the original features of John is that its design takes care of leaving the musician's attention as free as possible. Firstly, a quick review of the context of screen-based scores will help situate this research in the history of contemporary music notation. Then I will trace back how improvisation sessions led to John's particular "notational perspective". A brief description of the software will precede a discussion about the various aspects guiding its design.

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