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Music Control

  The KidsRoom has an original score especially written for an interactive installation. The music consists of 50 short MIDI segments, many of which can be concatenated together to form complex musical phrases that gradually increase in complexity. The selection of musical segments, tempo, and volume is under computer control and is changed based upon the action in the room and the progression of the story.  

Music Design

The design of the music for the KidsRoom environment is based on the need of having a responsive system which produces non-repetitive music. Professor Jon Klein, from the Berkeley School of Music, composed between 6 to 15 4-bar phrases for each scene which are juxtaposed during the run of the system according to changes in actions and intensity of activity as determined by the main control program. An automatic system avoids repetition of musical patterns by inserting transposed variations of the main themes and by using special bridging segments.

MIDI Control

Computer control of the music is accomplished as follows. The control program sends a command to a process running on an SGI Indy workstation. That process translates the control command into a MIDI command, which is sent to a Macintosh computer running Studio Pro MIDI software. Studio Pro has been configured so that it accepts the MIDI commands and queues up particular segments of music. The SGI MIDI process listens to the Macintosh MIDI output commands, which are used to properly cue and interrupt music segments so that music can be interrupted abruptly or interrupted at the end of a musical phrase, depending upon the signal sent by the control program.


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The KidsRoom - Perceptual Computing Group - MIT Media Laboratory