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Diverse Sounds

Enabling Inclusive Sonic Interaction

Time: Fri 2020-01-10 14.00

Location: Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Media Technology Human-computer Interaction

Doctoral student: Emma Frid , Medieteknik och interaktionsdesign, MID, Sound and Music Computing

Opponent: Reader Andrew McPherson, Queen Mary University of London

Supervisor: Professor Roberto Bresin, Tal, musik och hörsel, Talöverföring och musikakustik, Medieteknik och interaktionsdesign, MID

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This compilation thesis collects a series of publications on designing sonic interactions for diversity and inclusion. The presented papers focus on case studies in which musical interfaces were either developed or reviewed. While the described studies are substantially different in their nature, they all contribute to the thesis by providing reflections on how musical interfaces could be designed to enable inclusion rather than exclusion. Building on this work, I introduce two terms: inclusive sonic interaction design and Accessible Digital Musical Instruments (ADMIs). I also define nine properties to consider in the design and evaluation of ADMIs: expressiveness, playability, longevity, customizability, pleasure, sonic quality, robustness, multimodality and causality. Inspired by the experience of playing an acoustic instrument, I propose to enable musical inclusion for under-represented groups (for example persons with visual- and hearing-impairments, as well as elderly people) through the design of Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) in the form of rich multisensory experiences allowing for multiple modes of interaction. At the same time, it is important to enable customization to fit user needs, both in terms of gestural control and provided sonic output. I conclude that the computer music community has the potential to actively engage more people in music-making activities. In addition, I stress the importance of identifying challenges that people face in these contexts, thereby enabling initiatives towards changing practices.