Biosensors &
Biofeedback in
Chelsea Douglas
History & Early Development
• Biofeedback first became first became viewed as a
musical tool in the late 1960s.
– David Rosenboom (Brainwave Music) and Alvin Lucier
were two American composers who explored the use of
biosensors in music.
• Now biosignals with music are used as digital signals
and can be used to control aspects of the music
– Dubost and Tanaka refer to this as bio-control instead of
• Biofeedback is often related to emotional state
• Depending on the individual biofeedback can be
Measures of Biofeedback
• Measures of Biofeedback include:
– Galvanic Skin Response
• Dependent on moisture level
– Heart Rate Monitoring
– Body Temperature
– EEG (Electroencephalography)
• Sensors placed on scalp measure electrical
activity/ionic current flows within the neurons of the
Example Device
• Brain Pulse Music Machine
– Headset
– Measures activity in the
frontal (ability to recognize future
consequences resulting from current
and parietal (sensory
information) lobes
– Converts this activity into
– Approximate cost = $699.99
How Biosensors Work
• Beatback
• Uses GSR
Composition & Performance Examples
• Alvin Lucier, (American Composer)
– Clocker (1991):
• Massimiliano Peretti (Contemporary Artist)
– Amigdalae Project (2005)
• Measures Biofeedback with GSR, EEG, Body Temp and
Heart Rate
• Audience views video art while biofeedback controls
and alters the musical accompaniment.
Other Uses
• Music Therapy
– Reward controlled by biofeedback
– Research
• Companies
– Market products with biofeedback to create custom music
• Exercise
• Relaxation
– Performance anxiety
– Idea that continuous exchange of feedback between
music and individual enhances experience
• Relaxation

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