Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Shaun Kane

Second Advisor

Clayton Lewis

Third Advisor

Michael Theodore


As technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous and mobile devices are joined and even outnumbered by wearables, the need for calm technologies, those that support and inform without demanding attention, grows more urgent. To help understand how audio may play a role in the development of such technologies, we examine a representation technique known as blended sonification which utilizes sounds already present in the environment. We describe the implementation of two prototype calm technologies, Sonification Station and Audio Poke, and report the results of two experiments in which music was used as a medium for blended sonification. Participants performed similarly on a transcription task when a traditional alert sound was replaced by blended music sonification as a form of notification, and participants across levels of music training were generally proficient at detecting and identifying audio effects applied to music.