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i-Maestro Gesture and Posture Support:
The 3D Augmented Mirror (AMIR)

String players often use mirrors to study themselves practicing. Recently we have seen the increased use of video recording in music education as a practice and teaching tool. These tools are limited to a 2D perspective view of the performance. The i-Maestro 3D Augmented Mirror (AMIR) explores new applications of Motion Capture technology to overcome this limitation and to enhance and support the learning and teaching of string instruments through 3D visualisation and analysis of musical gesture. The system provides informative multimodal feedback which can help students improve their technique and develop awareness of their playing. It also aims to assist teachers to identify and explain problems to students.

AMIR in use
AMIR in use

By analysing and processing 3D motion capture data it is possible to obtain comprehensive information about a performance. For example, in the case of a string player, we can analyse the different characteristics of bow movements and the relationships between the bow, the instrument and the body. This information can be extremely useful for both student and teacher. It can be used in real time to provide instantaneous feedback, and may also be used to make recordings for in-depth study after the performance has taken place.

Screenshots of AMIR
Screenshots of AMIR
Screenshots of AMIR (Click for full size versions)

AMIR offers a number of different analyses to support the teaching and learning of bowing technique and body posture. These analyses can be delivered to the users in different ways. They may be visualised (see screenshots above), or alternatively, sonified. Sonification is potentially useful in instrumental training for several reasons. For example, when a musician is practicing he/she may not be able to use a visual display whilst reading the score. Auditory feedback can occur only when necessary, in order to interrupt the performance as little as possible. Sonification can also be used to display qualities such as the rhythm and periodicity of gestures, where a visual representation may not be sufficient. This technology can be used to capture and analyse a performance in detail to assist both teachers and students in numerous ways.

AMIR is being validated at the University of Leeds Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Research in Music (ICSRiM, uk) with a 12-camera infra-red motion capture setup. If you are interested in the technology, please contact Dr Kia Ng (Director of ICSRiM, and Coordinator of the i-Maestro project, kia @

  Additional resources
AMIR tool demo version

This is playback only version of AMIR with some pre-recorded data supplied. Windows XP/Vista only. Please see included readme before installing.

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AMIR demo video

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AMIR flyer

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