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network jamming :: play together online

jam2jam logo supports a digital social network of jam2jam users. The site allows users and groups to share their media clips created with the jam2jam client software. It also allows members to comment on and rate each other's performances. website

jam2jam grey is a sampler of the jam2jam idea, featuring three popular music styles with bass, drums, guitar, keyboards and percussion providing the instrument set. Manipulate each instrument and change the intensity of the sounds, the timbre and the volume to create an instant band experience. You can also play with others on the same piece of music in real-time in a virtual ensemble environment.

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Network Jamming explored how we can enhance learning and community with creative activities based on collaborative and generative technologies. The project focused particularly on the use of generative systems to increase access to novice users such as children and people with disabilities.

Apple University Consortium's Wheels for the Mind - Autumn 2009 issue

Jamming Over the Miles

"It started out as an experiment in music-making for children, but Andrew Brown and Steve Dillon's Jam2Jam has rapidly grown into a worldwide phenomenon that has featured in interactive museum applications and will this year facilitate musical jams between students around the world."

Read the jam2jam feature article in the Autumn 2009 Issue of AUC's Wheels for the Mind magazine...


A team of music educators, software interaction designers and sociologists researched virtual ensembles through the use of the jam2jam suite of generative software and hardware applications. The initial development of the software began with a survey of the musical tastes of a group of children in a culturally diverse community in Delaware, Ohio as part of the Delaware Children's Music Festival in 2002.

Subsequent research and development was performed by ACID in Australia. The majority of this research was about improving the generative algorithms, applying networked jamming activities to arts education learning environments, the addition of visual media performance capabilities, and the development of digital social networks of network jamming users.

about the network jamming project

The Network Jamming project explored how collaborative creativity using networked digital technologies could enhance learning and community. The project focused particularly on the use of generative systems to increase access to novice users such as children and people with disabilities.

The jam2jam systems were network computing systems connected to digital social networks that facilitate the coordination, sharing and communication around the collaborative creative activities. Within this process there were opportunities for application in community contexts, for digital networking enhancements, and for advances in creativity support tool design. Embedded within the design of the musical styles and the interface design was well-defined musical knowledge. This knowledge was 'encoded' within the improvisational algorithm and a teacher or music coach provided students participation leverage knowledge and guided access to it through reflective practice.

Video: Network Jamming with jam2jam (length: 5:22)

what is jam2jam?

Jam2jam was a suite of software and hardware applications that involved a series of simple controllers such as real or virtual sliders or a computer game like environment where the movement of controllers effects a change in the music. Jam2jam was generative and used computer processes to facilitate musical changes based on a stylistic algorithm. Gestures with the interface facilitated changes in the density or complexity of musical activity, volume and timbre. What was unique about it was that it is collaborative. A small group of players could play in a virtual ensemble easily and without much musical knowledge or experience by networking their jam2jam systems. This enabled groups of players to interact in real time like an ensemble and the music and video responded to individual changes in gesture. We called this Networked Improvisation. It enabled children aged from four years of age, people with disabilities, youth and adults with limited musical skills to experience ensemble performance and meaningful creative activities. When reflection was built into the experience design players could gain musical knowledge.

jam2jam and AV Jam collaborators Andrew Brown and Steve Dillon at Beta_Space, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

jam2jam collaborators A/Prof Andrew Brown and Dr Steve Dillon the Sydney Powerhouse Museum

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