This paper, presents in an abbreviated form the argument presented in an earlier paper, and tries to relate it to the theme, "retro in the interface". We introduce the concept instrumentness as a quality of human-computer interfaces. Instrumentness points to the way musical instruments are controlled and conceptualized through values such as virtuosity and palyability, which are important for computer-mediated creative work supporting development in use beyond what is initially designed for. The papet performs a conceptual investigation into qualities in software interfaces that support creativity , supported by analysis of, and interviews with, musical composers. Instrumentness is explained through discussions of materiality and metonymy as central strategies for computer mediated creativity. The paper is contributing to an investigation of the aesthetics of use in relation to software pointing to alternative values, differing from traditional usability, which are also relevant in creative work outside art and music composition.
Proceedings of the Eighth Danish Human-computer Interaction Research Symposium, 2008, p. 5-9