Music from Bio-Signals (Software design for music synthesis)

Author: Chen Chen

Chen, Chen, 2017 Music from Bio-Signals (Software design for music synthesis), Flinders University, School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact with the details.


Music is a kind of art and entertainment that reflects the real life of human beings.Normally, people could listen to the music recorded from disc or downloaded from the internet. This kind of music is created by musician while its content could not be changed after recording. The project of ‘Music from bio-signals’ is seeking a new way to synthesis music, which could be composed by the movement of human body in real-time. During this process, physiological signals in body system would be converted to digital signals, and then synthesized to music by software in the computer.

Previous students who involved in the project mainly focus on design of hardware design, therefore the software design of the project is still a blank field. In this project, which is the software design for music synthesis in ‘Music from Bio-Signals’, MATLAB is the main programming software for music composition. The design starts from the simple sound synthesized from static EMG signals. Since the real-time manipulation of music would be achieved in the final goal, a useful toolbox in MATLAB is introduced to stream out sound from real-time data. Afterwards harmonious music with multiple real-time controls is produced in the computer. In the end, some connecting tests between software and hardware would be carried on.

This project has achieved real-time control of music in MATLAB with four different sounds and two different musical instruments. It has made a great progress for the software design in the project-‘Music from Bio-signals’. Further research in the software design could focus on the real-time controllability from the hardware terminals and the reduction of transmission latency between hardware and software.

Keywords: bio-signals, music, programming, MATLAB

Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Supervisor: Kenneth Pope