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Possible Future of Music Performance

My future may not blow anyone’s mind but here are some thoughts on what would at least come close to being exciting, if not yet entirely possible through technological ‘help’ in the field of music performance.

The problem of physical distance seems to be one the larger issues in high quality music making today. Whether critiquing popular, classical or even cultural-traditional performances the globalization of society illustrates the global separation of top talent.

It would blow my mind if technology were able to limit the effects of this ‘separation’, particularly in these ways:

1. High-fidelity, zero-delay video interaction for more musicians than a chamber group. (roughly more than 10 players)

This would allow a concerto soloist to perform with an orchestra a continent away, simultaneously. If you really wanted to push this idea you could eventually have something like a string quartet perform live with each member actually being on a different continent.

2. Digital to analog audio transfer that does not compress over broadband transmission nor does it do so when returning to analog.

The whole point behind a collaboration such as was mentioned in section one is to make more of these collaborations occur without the issues of travel time. Yet, these performances will still need to be archived, thus section two. What we lose through digital transference is the details a private instructor comments on. This change would allow for international instruction (at a very high level) through video.

3. Simultaneous audio recognition into digital-voice translation (not into text) at pitch over streaming video interface. I have seen this work into text in TelePresence sessions, but to do it at pitch means singing could be translated live.

While most internationally successful musicians speak many languages, there are only so many languages a polyglot can learn. These limits have caused amazing musical societies (think Bulgaria) to suffer due to linguistic difficulties. Even with the technological innovations listed above these lands would still be at a disadvantage, thus my mind-blower.

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