World Music's DIVERSITY and Data Visualisation's EXPRESSIVE POWER collide. A galaxy of INTERACTIVE, SCORE-DRIVEN instrument model and theory tool animations is born.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Person-to-Person (read 'P2P') Music Teaching

Peer-to-peer (or remote person-to-person) teaching via video chat is increasingly common practice amongst traditional musicians worldwide, but to date with little or no shared tool support. A shared, in-browser world music aggregator platform will, we hope, ease this problem. The path may be long and arduous, but much has already been achieved.

Big, brave, open-source, non-profit, community-provisioned, cross-cultural and gone-fishing crazy. → Like, share, back-link, pin, tweet and mail. Hashtags? For the crowdfunding: #VisualFutureOfMusic. For the future live platform: #WorldMusicInstrumentsAndTheory. Or just register as a potential crowdfunder..

What is P2P Music Teaching?

virtual augmented reality global peer to peer music teaching learning education. #VisualFutureOfMusic #WorldMusicInstrumentsAndTheory
Global Peer-to-Peer Music Teaching and Learning

Potential Crowdfunder?

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It's helpful to think of P2P as 'person-to-person', simply because any intermediary stuff (hardware or software) should, ideally, be transparent. We should feel as connected as if sitting together in the same room, each with own instrument, music stand and aware of one another's actions.

Wikipedia, nevertheless, couches P2P in technical terms: 'peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or work loads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application. They are said to form a peer-to-peer network of nodes'.

All a matter of perspective.

Worldwide Reach

Legacy networks and web stacks, network latency, bloatware, ubiquitous advertising, traffic prioritisation, protectionism in operating systems and frameworks and a host of other niggles chuck their respective spanners in the works. For starters, then, let's throttle back on our expectations.

What Can't We Do?

Play music together across the internet. (Well we can, but it ain't kosher).

What Could we Do?

Concurrency? Not trivial, but a semblance can be made. Solutions exist.

Share and control each other's environment (notation, audio, instrument models, theory tools).
P2P Teaching and Learning: Documents in Play. #VisualFutureOfMusic #WorldMusicInstrumentsAndTheory
P2P Teaching and Learning: Documents in Play

Assuming webcam, audio and controls can be synchronised on each end device: transmit work done on any one node of the P2P network to others in the expectation that the constituent parts remain synchronised.

Teach. Listen. Repeat. Learn. A teacher can demonstrate, then listen, while a learner listens then repeats: a normal conversation as on any video chat application. Indeed, as long as no-one tries to play or talk simultaneously, no insurmountable problems..

Many fine instrumentalists are already using this approach (but currently with no tool support) to teach - worldwide. The basics work, this platform will simply flesh out the offerings a little.

How do we get there?

  • Thorough music exchange format groundwork by the W3C.
  • Notation encoded in a useful transfer format (could also be audio, or video)
  • Dynamically loadable and configurable instrument models and theory tools.
  • An environment that supports a high degree of interactivity and a wide range of visualisation approaches
  • A stable, proven P2P (sharing) protocol
  • A toolset supporting near-real-time mutual control over a shared environment, and allowing some form of synchronisation with video chat

The Path to P2P Music Teaching. #VisualFutureOfMusic #WorldMusicInstrumentsAndTheory
The Path to P2P Music Teaching
Here, the technical enablers: each pale arrow represents an an enhancement which -implemented- could contribute significantly to the survival, growth and diversity of world music.

Each of these represent empowerment pure. Of particular benefit would be those enhancements to music exchange formats making other music cultures more accessible.

Interbrowser Controls

Now it gets technical. We have our score, an instrument model, a theory tool and the means to jointly (ie simultaneously) configure them.

We want to share our environment with another browser. How?
P2P: Cross-Browser Controls. #VisualFutureOfMusic #WorldMusicInstrumentsAndTheory
P2P: Cross-Browser Controls
Our shared interworking controls comprise three sets of commands; those targetting: o score playback (not forgetting interworking with media timeline) o environment (toolset selection / sharing) o musical configuration Clearly, some of these controls will have a role within the local application (peer node) itself. A configuration tool may, for example, have direct local as well as remote impact.
Ba─člama / saz Teacher demonstrating chord over video link with tool support. #VisualFutureOfMusic #WorldMusicInstrumentsAndTheory
Teacher-Student Interaction (Photomontage)

What can we expect?

Have instrument, will travel. Life as a virtual musical nomad can begin.

We are location-independent, yet able to learn from competent, genre-native teachers working directly from their own homes, yet with global reach and much greater scheduling freedom.

  • more time for family, friends, social music and dance.
  • no packing of instruments
  • no checking timetables
  • no fighting commuter tides
  • no travel expense
  • drastically reduced environmental impact
  • learning convenience, including in a lunch break
  • drawing on the 'other' half of the brain, the ideal work break


Virtual Reality: as above, but with instrument and theory tools display overlaying a video-chat session, more (virtual) real estate for immersive, contextual information.

The new CSS cleaner allows you to organize your style sheets.


About Cantillate -

Autodidact. Laird o' the Windy Wa's. Serial Failure with Attitude. Bit of a Dreamer..

Comments, questions and (especially) critique welcome.