Music Aid—Towards a Collaborative Experience for Deaf and Hearing People in Creating Music

Söderberg, Ene Alicia and Odgaard, Rasmus Emil and Bitsch, Sarah and Höeg-Jensen, Oliver and Christensen, Nikolaj Schildt and Poulsen, Sören Dahl and Gelineck, Steven

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper explores the possibility of breaking the barrier between deaf and hearing people when it comes to the subject of making music. Suggestions on how deaf and hearing people can collaborate in creating music together, are presented. The conducted research will focus on deaf people with a general interest in music as well as hearing musicians as target groups. Through reviewing different related research areas, it is found that visualization of sound along with a haptic feedback can help deaf people interpret and interact with music. With this in mind, three variations of a collaborative user interface are presented, in which deaf and hearing people are meant to collaborate in creating short beats and melody sequences. Through evaluating the three prototypes, with two deaf people and two hearing musicians, it is found that the target groups can collaborate to some extent in creating beats. However, in order for the target groups to create melodic sequences together in a satisfactory manner, more detailed visualization and distributed haptic output is necessary, mostly due to the fact that the deaf test participants struggle in distinguishing between higher pitch and timbre.