The Prospects of Musical Instruments For People with Physical Disabilities

Larsen, Jeppe Veirum and Overholt, Dan and Moeslund, Thomas B.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Many forms of enabling technologies exist today. While technologies aimed at enabling basic tasks in everyday life (locomotion, eating, etc.) are more common, musical instruments for people with disabilities can provide a chance for emotional enjoyment, as well as improve physical conditions through therapeutic use. The field of musical instruments for people with physical disabilities, however, is still an emerging area of research. In this article, we look at the current state of developments, including a survey of custom designed instruments, augmentations / modifications of existing instruments, music-supported therapy, and recent trends in the area. The overview is extrapolated to look at where the research is headed, providing insights for potential future work.