Electronic Music Interfaces for People with Disabilities: Do They Lead Anywhere?By Swingler, Tim; Assistive Technology - Shaping the Future: AAATE 2003 Conference Proceedings, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 247-252
Publication Date: 2003
Article discusses the use of electronic music interfaces as therapeutic aids for people with disabilities. In the traditional music therapy scenario, a passive involvement in music can be observed; for example, live or recorded music is played to the listener. Some music therapy approaches involve some contribution from the client, which usually comes in the form of a percussive instrument. This limits participation to clients who have the sufficient dexterity and coordination required to manipulate percussive instruments. This has led to the development of Soundbeam, which is an interface that works by emitting an invisible beam of high frequency sound that is inaudible to the human auditory system. The ultrasonic pulses are reflected back into the device’s sensor by interruptions of and movements within the beam. Information regarding the distance, speed, and direction of said movement is translated into a digital MIDI code, which is understood by a wide range of electronic musical instruments. The experience of initiation is central in the use of Soundbeam, especially for individuals with profound disabilities who could only participate minimally in traditional music therapy sessions. The power to “make something happen” is a vital experience, and can function as the foundation for further learning and interaction.
Assistive Products Discussed: SOUNDBEAM (KIT A & KIT B)
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)
Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) (Web Site: http://www.aaate.net )