In recent years, researchers have begun to focus on the communication of information
using sound. This auditory display research community now has its own
community and international conference (the International Conference on Auditory
Display). Auditory Display embraces many interesting avenues of enquiry, one of
which, program auralisation is the topic of this thesis.
This thesis describes how the technique of program auralisation (the mapping of
computer program data and events to sound) was applied within a musical framework
and .context in the development of a musical program auralisation system
called CAITLIN (the Computer Audio Interface to Locate Incorrect Nonsense). The
motivation behind the construction of CAITLIN was to devise a system of auditory
display that would assist novice Pascal programmers in debugging their code.
Prior to this thesis, almost no experimentation had been carried out into this
area. Earlier systems had been developed, but there was no empirical evidence
against which to judge success or failure. Experimentation was carried out to assess
the suitability of the technique as applied by CAITLIN. Novice programmers were
engaged in several debugging exercises both with and without the assistance of the
CAITLIN musical program auralisations. The results from the experiments have
suggested circumstances in which such auditory feedback may indeed be useful. Further
development and experimentation needs to be carried out to explore the potential
of the technique. A set of organising principles for the use of music in program
auralisation has been proposed on the basis of this research and a review of earlier
work in the auditory display, music cognition, and music-theoretic fields.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.