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How Can We Model Behaviours of Digital Instruments? Propositions in fuzzy logic from Philippe Manoury’s works

Alain Bonardi, Frédéric Dufeu

Alain Bonardi, CICM (Centre de recherche Informatique et Création Musicale), Université Paris 8, 2 rue de la Liberté, 93526 Saint-Denis Cedex 02, France
Frédéric Dufeu, CeReNeM (Centre for Research in New Music), University of Huddersfield, Creative Arts Building, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, United Kingdom


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The purpose of this paper is to present perspectives for modelling behaviours of digital instruments for musical performance. We rely on an experiment calling for formalisms of fuzzy logic, applied to the third section of Pluton by Philippe Manoury. We use the FuzzyLib library developed for the Max environment and hence directly integrable to the patch for the performance. In the framework of computing with words as described by Lofti Zadeh, this formalism enables a semantic description of the input and output phenomena of processing modules, getting back from physical measurements to a perception-based appreciation. It is also possible to make inferences at this semantic level. In fuzzy logic, it is possible to work on the musical vocabulary of dynamics and tempi (pianissimo, moderato, etc.) in a non-binary way, rather than exclusively on ranges of numeric values, and to describe transfer functions with fuzzy rules. This approach enables to model the controlling methods and the behaviour of the patch under terms linked to perception, and even to replace it or to contribute to its perpetuation, as it is a form of writing that is abstract from a given implementation in a particular software environment. From a particular case of man-machine interaction present in a work that is emblematic of real-time interaction, we discuss the relevance of our modelling for the analysis of mixed music and its perspectives for developed applications of formalisms that can be generalised to a large part of the digital instruments in the contemporary repertoire. This approach constitutes a contribution to the organology of real time devices for sound and music production.

EMS13 Proceedings