Should Music Interaction be Easy?
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A fundamental assumptio in the fields of human-computer interaction and usability studies is that interfaces should be designed for ease of use, with a few exceptions such as the trade-off with long-term power. In this chapter it is argued that in music interactio the situation is far more complex, with social, technical, artistic, and psychological reasons why difficulty is in some cases a good thing, and in other cases a necessary evil. Different aspects of static and time-varying difficulty in music interaction are categorised. Some specific areas in which difficulty seems to be inextricaly linked to positive aspects of music interaction are described. This is followed by discussion of some areas in which difficulty is undesirable and, perhaps, avoidable. Examples are drawn from music interaction research in general and from other chapters of this book in particular.
Music and Human-Computer Interaction