Gesture capture has recently witnessed a considerable expansion as an area of technological research. In musical terms, the concept of gesture capture is a simple one that nevertheless has an enormous range of creative applications. Gesture capture may be used to refer to the tracking of the physical actions of a musical performer of an acoustic instrument (key movements, finger action, breath control and so on) or of an electronic instrument (where performance information may be mapped elsewhere to creative ends). Gesture capture may also be used to describe any system that analyses acoustic data to glean information concerning musical performance. In interactive works, the information 'captured' in such a process is mapped in such a way as to have an effect on some other aspect of the performance, for example the real-time processing or synthesis of other musical material. It may also be used to describe any system that tracks visual movements through optical means.
Gesture capture is not restricted to the physical actions of musicians. The gestures of dancers, for example, could be 'translated' to create or have an affect on electroacoustic music.