SHARP: Supporting Exploration and Rapid State Navigation in Live Coding Music

Douglas A Bowman Jr, Daniel Manesh, and Sang Won Lee

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

  • Year: 2023
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Track: Work in Progress
  • Pages: 521–524
  • Article Number: 72
  • PDF link

Abstract:

How do live coders simultaneously develop new creations and master previous ones? Using conclusions drawn from previous studies about exploratory programming and our experience practicing live coding, we identified a need to support creation and mastery in the live coding space—specifically in the realm of live coding pertaining to musical creations. We developed a tool, SHARP, which attempted to empower live coders in both their exploration and performances. SHARP is a code editor extension that visualizes the history of each instrument that the live coder creates; the visualization can then be used to revisit the previous states of the instrument and create new ones. We believe that this extension will support live coders’ exploration in practice as well as enable novel musical aesthetics in performance contexts. We did an initial evaluation of SHARP using an autoethnographic approach where one researcher used the tool over multiple sessions to compose a piece. From the autoethnography, we saw that SHARP supported composition by making it easier to explore different musical ideas and to revisit past states. Our analysis also hints at new possible features, such as being able to combine multiple previous states together using SHARP.

Citation:

Douglas A Bowman Jr, Daniel Manesh, and Sang Won Lee. 2023. SHARP: Supporting Exploration and Rapid State Navigation in Live Coding Music. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. DOI:

BibTeX Entry:

  @article{nime2023_72,
 abstract = {How do live coders simultaneously develop new creations and master previous ones? Using conclusions drawn from previous studies about exploratory programming and our experience practicing live coding, we identified a need to support creation and mastery in the live coding space—specifically in the realm of live coding pertaining to musical creations. We developed a tool, SHARP, which attempted to empower live coders in both their exploration and performances. SHARP is a code editor extension that visualizes the history of each instrument that the live coder creates; the visualization can then be used to revisit the previous states of the instrument and create new ones. We believe that this extension will support live coders’ exploration in practice as well as enable novel musical aesthetics in performance contexts. We did an initial evaluation of SHARP using an autoethnographic approach where one researcher used the tool over multiple sessions to compose a piece. From the autoethnography, we saw that SHARP supported composition by making it easier to explore different musical ideas and to revisit past states. Our analysis also hints at new possible features, such as being able to combine multiple previous states together using SHARP.},
 address = {Mexico City, Mexico},
 articleno = {72},
 author = {Douglas A Bowman Jr and Daniel Manesh and Sang Won Lee},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression},
 editor = {Miguel Ortiz and Adnan Marquez-Borbon},
 issn = {2220-4806},
 month = {May},
 numpages = {4},
 pages = {521--524},
 title = {SHARP: Supporting Exploration and Rapid State Navigation in Live Coding Music},
 track = {Work in Progress},
 url = {http://nime.org/proceedings/2023/nime2023_72.pdf},
 year = {2023}
}