Research Group for Applied Software Engineering
Forschungsgruppe für Angewandte Softwaretechnik

VSO 2005

Virtual Symphony Orchestra

Prof. Bernd Brügge, Ph.D.
Applied Software Engineering, TUM 

Project Description The goal of the "Virtual Symphony Orchestra" project is to increase the interest of children in classical music by giving them an understanding of the variety and beauty of music in a timely and playful manner. For this purpose the children slip into the role of an orchestra conductor. They can share in the exciting process of an orchestra performance to find out, that classical music can be a lot of fun. The main goal of the project is to build a virtual symphony orchestra, which can be conducted by professional musicians and musical laymen alike. Digital audio and video recordings of a concert piece of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra are produced for this purpose. The recordings are prepared on a computer in such a way that they can be manipulated by the conductor, allowing him to control characteristic aspects of music like tempo and volume using different forms of interaction. The fundamental musical attributes of the concert piece are thereby not changed. Another goal is to make children aware of how conductor and orchestra influence each other through their interaction with the virtual orchestra. By the experience that the child gains through actually conducting an orchestra, we think that children increase their interest in classical music. Interaction with the system will be made possible with gestures, facial expressions and movements of the baton, which are analyzed by a computer program. The system software will make it possible to spatially arrange different sections of the orchestra, fade them out and to determine the conductor’s own position in relation to the orchestra’s location. The surround sound technology used by the system makes this spatial realignment of the orchestra acoustically noticeable to the user. The child is thus not just a passive listener, but also an active co-creator and gets to know the music in an unconventional and new manner. Detailed information about the orchestra and the conductor as well as an introduction to the musical instrument technology and to harmonics, which will be especially designed for children, adds an educational character to the project. Numerous software and hardware products for composition, recording and rendering of music like Sibelius, Logic, iTunes and keyboards have already been around for a long time. Presenting music is one area, where we do not yet applied information technology solutions and therefore represents a special challenge. in the past this area was not addressed because of technical problems and high implementation costs. However, with the advance of new technologies like gesture recognition, non-linear audio and video manipulation combined with lower hardware costs, has addressing this problem has become a feasible task. The challenge of the “Virtual Symphony Orchestra” project will be to combine different technologies in an appropriate manner in order to create an impressive musical experience., The focus is not on technology but to allow the user to explore classical music in innovative and astonishing ways.


Project Management

Prof. Bernd Brügge
Timo Wolf
Martin Ott



Project Information

Team Portals