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The Serendiptichord: A Wearable Instrument for Contemporary Dance Performance

We describe a novel musical instrument designed for use in contemporary dance performance. This instrument, the Serendiptichord, takes the form of a headpiece plus associated pods which sense movements of the dancer, together with associated audio processing software driven by the sensors. Movements such as translating the pods or shaking the trunk of the headpiece cause selection and modification of sampled sounds. We discuss how we have closely integrated physical form, sensor choice and positioning and software to avoid issues which otherwise arise with disconnection of the innate physical link between action and sound, leading to an instrument that non-musicians (in this case, dancers) are able to enjoy using immediately.

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