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Publication Detail
‘Don’t follow them, look at me!’: Contemplating a haptic digital prototype to bridge the conductor and visually impaired performer
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Baker D, Fomukong-Boden A, Edwards S
  • Publisher:
    Carfax Publishing Ltd.
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    295, 314
  • Journal:
    Music Education Research
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
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.
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