26: “Take it to the bridge”

“Take it to the bridge”: A MELD-based platform multi-performer communication during jam sessions

David Weigl & Kevin Page, University of Oxford

A platform for multi-way communication between collaborating musicians through the dynamic, distributed annotation of digital music scores, employing the Music Encoding and Linked Data (MELD) framework.
Music is a fundamental channel of communication. Inter-performer communication is especially important in semi-structured performances, such as jam sessions, where the set list is not entirely pre-determined and repetitions and variations can be added within pieces. These decisions are made and communicated as the performance unfolds.

take it to the bridge 1

During a jam session, collaborating musicians make fluid, ad-hoc decisions about song repetitions and transitions, rather than adhering to a pre-determined set list. Musicians may add directions to change dynamic, stylistic, or structural elements of the performance, such as to repeat a chorus or a verse, or to move to a bridge section. Such actions may draw upon contextual information external to the performance itself — e.g., to adopt the style of a certain artist, or to transition to another song by this artist.

Motivated by these requirements, we have applied the MELD framework to implement a demonstrator supporting multi-way communication between musicians collaboratively changing the performance sequence within and between pieces in a group performance.