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‘Instruments for Everyone’: Empowering disabled creators with tools for musical expression

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This article reports a project commissioned by the Education Service of Casa da Música (CdM) in which tools were developed to allow musical expression by physically and mentally challenged people. The first phase involved defining a group of clients, identifying their capabilities and motivations and designing customized solutions involving different combinations of software and hardware. The second phase consisted of a programme of regular activities using these resources in their institutions. The third phase involved the composition of a piece of music using those resources along with others and its performance by these people in the main concert hall of CdM in April 2010. ‘Viagem’, a piece written for, and performed by, a group of about 80 people with mixed abilities proved the concept, but it was, above all, a deep artistic experience.
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Keywords: assistive technology; bespoke musical instruments; computer-aided performance; disability; empowerment; inclusion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Universidade de Aveiro 2: Coventry University 3: CESEM-FCSH-UNL

Publication date: October 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Ubiquity is an international peer reviewed journal for creative and transdisciplinary practitioners interested in technologies, practices and behaviours that have the potential to radically transform human perspectives on the world. "Ubiquity", the ability to be everywhere at the same time, a potential historically attributed to the occult is now a common feature of the average mobile phone. The title refers explicitly to the advent of ubiquitous computing that has been hastened through the consumption of networked digital devices. The journal anticipates the consequences for design and research in a culture where everyone and everything is connected, and will offer a context for visual artists, designers, scientists and writers to consider how Ubiquity is transforming our relationship with the world.
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