EASAIER Use-Case Scenarios:

The Amateur Musician


Greg is a guitarist in a band consisting of old school friends. A vinyl enthusiast, the pride of Greg's collection is a complete set of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin albums. on borrowing his girlfriend's MP3 player, Greg discovered the large amount of material available digitally. Hearing an alternative version of Led Zep's Black Dog on a late night radio show, Greg became interested in finding alternative and live recordings of the songs played by his rock'n'roll heroes, but he finds it difficult searching the internet for such tracks.

Following a Google search, Greg logs onto a classic rock'n'roll archive that uses the EASAIER system. He enters 'Pink Floyd' in the author/title field and also puts 'live' in the keyword field. He is pleased to find that his search returns an alternative, live version of a segment from Atom Heart Mother with a pared-down orchestration - much sparser than the original studio mix. The metadata displayes the distinctive cover art of the Atom Heart Mother album and a picture of a Pink Floyd performance from around the time the album came out. Happy with his musical research, Greg plays this segment again and looks for further alternative versions of his favourite tracks. Greg sends his fellow band members and email with a link to the website employing the EASAIER system.

The Music Student

Chen-Yin Mae, a harp student at the RSAMD, recently performed the sonata for harp, flute and viola by Debussy. she and her two colleagues wish to put together a concert programme based around this work with the same unusual instrumentation.

Chen-yin accesses a sound archive using the EASAIER system. She puts 'Harp, flute, viola' in the orchestration/instrumentation field. The group would like to make the programme all 20th - century, so Chen-yin enters'19*' in the year field.

Her search returns several works, including the Elgiac trio by Arnold Bax and a transcription of Ravel's Sonatine (orginally composed for the piano) by Carlos Salzedo. Having already heard the Bax piece in concert, Chen-yin listens to the Ravel transcription. Afterwards, she returns tothe list and selects a later piece, Tre Ecloghe (1984) written for the same group of instruments by composer Jay Anthony Gach. There is a link to Gach's website displayed in the metadata.

Together with the Debussy, Chen-yin thins this selection of three pieces will form a balanced programme and sts about marking the technically dificult passages in the audio track using the EASAIER enriched access tools (WP5). Later, as her flat has wireless Internet, Chen-yin can play back these marked passages to herself in her practising, and to her ensemble when they rehearse.

The Lecturer

Dr. Goran Kryllic is a lectuer in chral conducting. He has come to blieve, through personal experience, that when choirs sing a cappela in the key of
F major, they tend to go flat. Dr Kryllic, when he directs an a cappella work for choir written in F major, will always transcribe it up or down a semitone. However, he is finding it difficult to demonstrate the rationale behind this to the students on his choral conducting cours.

Logging onto an EASAIR system, Dr Kryllic fills in various fields: 'F major' in the key field, 'a capella' in the keyword field, 'choral' in the genre field. As he wants to find works of both fast and slow tempi, he leaves the tempo range field blank.

Of the twelve tracks displayed, eight display the undesirable musical behaviour Dr Kryllic believes typical of choirs singing a cappella in the key of F major. Using the EASIAER enriched access tools (WP5), he marks the various tracks in order to show his students the particular stages in the works where the choir goes flat. He uses the EASAIER sound representation (WP4) to find the places where the choirs sing at their loudest, most quiet, highest or lowest. In this way he can begin to explore what it is particularly about F major that makes choirs go flat.

To further prove his point Dr Kryllic enters the same search information specifying all a cappella works for choir not in F major. He listens to these and not one of the examples goes out of tune. After his time using the EASAIER system, Dr Kryllic realises he has not only got the basis for a fascinating lecture, but also the starting point for an exciting research project.


The DJ

Club DJ Flyguy McJim normally starts his Saturday night set at the Edinburgh University Student Union bar on campus just after 11 o'clock. This particular Saturday night has seen the Scottish football team defeat their bitter rivals England in a World Cup qualifying match. The bar is packed and the crowd has been singing Scottish songs all night. As the dance floor quickly fills up with happy revellers, Flyguy realises a patriotic flavour might be the way to go.

As the second track kicks in, he uses his laptop's Internet connection to log onto a traditional Scottish music archive that employs the EASAIER system. Typing in 'Scotland the Brave', 'Pipe band' and 'D major' in the author/title, orchestration and key fields (the drum'n'bass groove McJim has in mind works best with tracks in D major) he puts 120-132 bpm in the tempo range field. Unfortunately no results are displayed. However, Flyguy remembers that Pipe Bands often play in strange keys, so he searches again leaving the Key field blank. This search brings several sutable tracks. Selecting one, he uses EASAIER's enriched access tools (WP5) , to create a loop sample, bump up the pipes' drone from B quarter sharp to D, and set the playback tempo at 126 bpm.

Mixing in a slightly heavier and faster drumbeate, Flyguy McJim drops the EASAIER loop of 'Scotland the Brave' between the verse and chorus of the Proclaimers' song 500 miles. On hearing the pipe band, the crowd on the dance floor goes wild. McJim drops the loop in several more times to equally rousing effect. Impressed the EASAIR audio material, readily to hand and so easily accessed and manipulated, McJim finishes his set thinking about how he might further use the resources to provide a unique element to his DJ sets. He makes a mental note to see how many other sound archives use the EASAIER system.

Looping function: music performance and ‘aural learners’
Moira is a fiddler in the second year of the Scottish Traditional Music degree at the Royal Scottish Academy for Music and Drama. She learns a large number of her tunes by listening to recordings, and particularly enjoys listening to different fiddlers playing the same tune. Moira believes this not only gives her new ideas, but also demonstrates clearly and quickly the geographical and historical variations in traditional fiddling.

Before she started her degree, Moira wore out several CD players by repeatedly pausing and skipping back through tracks in order to learn a particular phrase or ornament within a tune. Having used the HOTBED system a few times in her first year, she was impressed with the ability to create ‘loops’ in the recording. After her Contemporary Scottish Music Studies lecturer spoke about a new Scottish music archive that employed the EASAIER software, Moira logged on during a practice session at home. She quickly found the looping function, and created a loop of an ornamented phrase within a James Scott Skinner rendition of ‘The Laird Of Drumblair’ that she had wanted to learn for her own performance of the same tune. Playing along with this loop, Moira realised how easy this manner of ‘aural learning’ was, eliminating the need to be continually pressing buttons on the CD player.

Looping function: theatre and ‘aural learners’
As an actor, John’s knack for quickly picking up accents served him well professionally. He had recently seen calls for auditions advertised for a feature film, where the actors were required to have old English ‘West Country’ accents. Usually, when he needed to pick up a new accent, John would call on one of his foreign friends with the appropriate accent, or study a suitable foreign actor playing an English-speaking role. However, none of his friends or colleagues had West Country accents, and John needed to learn this accent within three days.

He called up his old drama school lecturer, who recommended he look for an archive or museum in Devon or Cornwall who might be able to help him. Searching on the internet, John discovered the Bishopsteignton Museum of Rural Life. This museum had recently digitised 23 hours of audio material including local accounts of historical diary farming from the mid 1950’s. This museum used the EASAIER software to provide access to this collection via the Internet. John listened to a selection of audio material and created loops of spoken phrases he thought would be most useful for learning the accent, repeating them back parrot style. After an evening’s work John felt he had a firm hold of a Devonshire accent from two or three generations ago, and wrote an email recommending the EASAIER software to his old drama school, who he knew were digitising their collection of audio-visual teaching material.

Marking function: Easy use of online digital material in presentations
Upon completing his Masters of Arts from Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, Ryan secured his first job lecturing undergraduate musicology students at Goldsmith’s University in London. During the course of his postgraduate study, he had access to Indiana University’s Digital Music Library project Variations2. One of the features of this digital access software was the ability to ‘mark up’ recordings for quick referral. Ryan was due to give a lecture regarding John Dowland song, but found to his disappointment that he could not log onto the Variations2 system outside the US.

Searching online, he found an English song library that had digitised an audio-visual record from the 1970’s of well-known lutenist Robert Spencer performing four Dowland songs with an unnamed singer. As this archive used the EASAIER software, Ryan was able to access and view this material, and put markers within the record at those places he thought might be useful for his lecture. Having marked the beginning of the four songs and their verses, he viewed the material again with a copy of the music to hand, and placed a second set of markers at points where Spencer had improvised on the Dowland composition. He also placed markers where he thought the singer had perhaps missed opportunities for greater expression.

As the material and his markings were saved online, Ryan only needed to connect his laptop to Goldsmith’s wireless internet network and a digital projector to use this resource in his lecture presentation. Using the EASAIER interface, he only needed to double-click on a specific mark to play the audio-visual example he wished to use.

Automatic marking – recognition of change of speaker
Natalie recently finished editing the first draft of An Encyclopaedia of British Comedians. Her particular specialist area is Peter Sellers. For her entry in the encyclopaedia, Natalie accessed a great number of historical radio programmes where Sellers was an interviewee via the internet. The interviews where Sellers was the one of a panel of interviewees proved particularly time-consuming to process. However, this was not prevalent for those programmes accessed using the EASAIER software, because Natalie could specify that the material be presented with the entry of each new speaker marked automatically on the audio representation. To find where Sellers joined the interview, she merely clicked through the markers until she heard her specialist subject’s voice, which to her amusement, was often disguised by one of his many accents.