The Melody Easel allows the user to tactilely explore a musical composition. Sounds and music change as a function of finger position, velocity, and pressure. We use a pressure-sensitive IntelliTouch Screen from ELO TouchSystems, based on ultrasound propagation through the screen surface. This device produces 8 bits of pressure information, along with precise x and y screen coordinates. The figure shows an earlier version of the Melody Easel, where we postulated the addition of a shunt-mode Fish electric field sensor array placed around the monitor to sense noncontact hand gesture above the screen. The Fish was dropped from the final implementation, since the touch screen interface itself produced ample parameters for the music generation software and made a sufficiently satisfying interface.
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