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Migrating Musical Concepts — An Overview of the Bol Processor

By Bernard Bel


The Bol Processor is the outcome of a migratory process, its design having been carried over in three phases and places: in collaboration with traditional North Indian musicians (1980-85), Western musicians in Europe (1985-93) and back in India with Carnatic musicians (1995-97). The theoretical framework of the underlying research project also evolved in three stages, taking inspiration from expert systems in the early 1980s, symbolicnumeric machine-learning in the end of the decade, and composition theory (Laske 1989, 1992) in the 1990s. Throughout this process, the designer has been faced with the challenge of blending software with “mindware”, here taken to mean musicians ’ striving for […] tools enabling them to manipulate objects so as to imbue them with ‘soul ’ or experiential value […] (Laske 1996). In a cross-cultural approach this led to modelling descriptions of music and compositional processes at a level of abstraction sufficiently high to encompass “local ” musical concepts without getting too abstruse

Year: 2008
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