Liveness and Interactivity in Popular Music

Waite, Simon ORCID logoORCID: (2019) Liveness and Interactivity in Popular Music. In: Innovation in Music Performance, Production, Technology, and Business, 1st Edition. Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9781138498198

[thumbnail of]
Text (
InMusic_SiWaite_LivenessInteractivity_RoutledgeChapter_CorrectedVersionWithImages.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (10MB) | Preview
Official URL:

Abstract / Summary

This chapter describes and compares four approaches to the creation and use of audio-visual interactive systems for the live performance of popular music. These approaches were identified through a practice-led approach in which the underlying aim was to create a portfolio of work for live performance that demonstrated a high degree of liveness and interactivity. The four approaches were:
• Controller-based interactive-generative tools
• Multi-tool systems for guitar and vocal performance
• Systems controlled by typing the lyrics of a piece
• Systems based on real-world metaphors
Following a review of current issues in the live performance of electronic music, recent theories of liveness and interactivity are discussed. Four aspects of liveness are identified from these theories that form the basis for the comparisons between the four approaches listed above. Other work making use of similar approaches is then reviewed, before a discussion on the use of interactive systems in popular music. After an overview of the practice-led methodology used in the project, the four approaches to creating interactive systems are discussed in detail, with reflections on the level of interactivity and the suitability of each type of system for popular music.
Comparisons between the approaches reveal that systems based on real-world metaphors demonstrated the highest levels of liveness. This approach enabled the system to have a presence in space and time distinct from the human performer (spatio-temporal liveness); to reveal the causes of sounds (corporeal liveness), demonstrate interactivity with the human performer (interactive liveness) and reveal the ideas and creative processes behind the composition (aesthetic liveness). The metaphor approach was also well-suited to popular music while allowing significant levels of interactivity during composition and live performance.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: liveness, interactivity, songwriting, interactive systems, audio-visual, live, performance, popular music
ISBN: 9781138498198
Subjects: Technology > Digital Works > Digital Artefact
Music > Digital Music
Technology > Digital Works
Music > Musical Performance
Philosophy & Psychology
Music > Popular Music
Courses by Department: Academy of Music & Theatre Arts > Music
Depositing User: Simon Waite
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2019 15:45
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:27


View Item View Item (login required)