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‘Don’t follow them, look at me!’: Contemplating a haptic digital prototype to bridge the conductor and visually impaired performer

Baker, D; Fomukong-Boden, A; Edwards, S; (2019) ‘Don’t follow them, look at me!’: Contemplating a haptic digital prototype to bridge the conductor and visually impaired performer. Music Education Research , 21 (3) pp. 295-314. 10.1080/14613808.2019.1605344. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper reports on an exploratory research-and-development project concerning a device for conveying a conductor’s gestures wirelessly to a visually impaired (blind or partially sighted) performer as a haptic signal. The research team developed this device from January to July 2017 under a University College London (UCL) Institute of Education ‘seed-corn’ grant. As a platform for its development, they firstly observed and analysed video footage of conductors at the Royal Academy of Music, London using Elan software to create a gestural model. Subsequently, through gaining blind end-users’ feedback on the device, as well as an experiment to compare their timing using either (i) a two-dimension haptic signal or (ii) a metronomic pulsation, it is suggested that the development of technologies for this purpose should focus on the meaning the conductor intends to convey coupled with haptic signals blind end-users themselves deem suitable, rather than adopting a ‘sighted perspective’ in attempting faithful transference of two-dimensional captures of arm movements from one medium to another. Reasons for this assertion are explored.

Type: Article
Title: ‘Don’t follow them, look at me!’: Contemplating a haptic digital prototype to bridge the conductor and visually impaired performer
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14613808.2019.1605344
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2019.1605344
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Visual impairment and music, blind and partially sighted musicians, access technology for music, conducting and gesture, lifelong learning and accessibility, disability and the arts, haptic communication, music and inclusion
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073530
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