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Accessible Digital Music Instruments for Motor Disability

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Neurocognitive Music Therapy
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Abstract

Learning to play a musical instrument has been shown to provide several benefits for acquiring many non-musical skills. However, these benefits are often inaccessible to people with motor disabilities. In this chapter, we introduce accessible digital music interfaces as a tool for allowing people with motor disabilities (e.g. people affected by cerebral palsy) to learn and play music, and thus access the benefits music provides. In particular, we describe the EyeHarp, a free-access gaze-controlled accessible digital musical instrument, which allows people with severe motor disabilities to learn, perform, and compose music using their gaze as a control mechanism. The EyeHarp, in spite of being a digital musical instrument, has been proven to be an expressive musical instrument in the same way as traditional musical instruments and has played a central role in making music accessible to thousands of people with motor disabilities around the world. As an example of how digital music interfaces can be successfully used as a music intervention tool, we describe a project which made music accessible to individuals with motor disabilities. through the EyeHarp. Finally, based on our experience with the EyeHarp, we propose a music-based protocol for promoting music making and improving the well-being of individuals with severe motor disabilities.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    https://skoogmusic.com, last accessed on 22/06/2023.

  2. 2.

    http://sensorysoftware.com, last accessed on 22/06/2023.

  3. 3.

    http://www.tobii.com, last accessed on 22/06/2023.

  4. 4.

    http://eyeplaythepiano.com/en, last accessed on 22/06/2023.

  5. 5.

    https://wearables.com/products/fove-vr-headset, last accessed on 22/06/2023.

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Ramirez-Melendez, R. (2023). Accessible Digital Music Instruments for Motor Disability. In: Neurocognitive Music Therapy. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-48635-7_2

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