Inclusive improvisation through sound and movement mapping: From DMI to ADMI

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Conference Proceeding
ASSETS 2020 - 22nd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, 2020, pp. 1-8
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© 2020 ACM. The field of Accessible Digital Musical Instruments (ADMIs) is growing rapidly, with instrument designers recognising that adaptations to existing Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) can foster inclusive music making. ADMIs offer opportunities to engage with a wider range of sounds than acoustic instruments. Furthermore, gestural ADMIs free the music maker from relying on screen, keyboard and mouse-based interfaces for engaging with these sounds. This brings greater opportunities for exploration, improvisation, empowerment and flow through music making for people living with disabilities. This paper presents a case study of the a gestural DMI invented by the first author and shows that system-based considerations that enabled an expert percussionist to achieve virtuoso performances with the instrument, required minimal hardware and software changes to facilitate greater inclusivity. Understanding the needs of the users and customising the system-based movement to sound mappings was of far greater importance in making the instrument accessible.
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