Partner profile: The Music Computing Lab at OU and the ACCESS Pilot

Dr. Simon Holland founder and director of the Music Computing Lab at Open University introduces their fascinating work and the ACCESS Pilot
28 April 2021

The Music Computing Lab at The Open University is a research lab focused on empowering musicians, illuminating musical activities, and modelling music perception and cognition. Our research draws on musicology, neuropsychology, ethnography, pervasive technology, wearables, haptics and machine learning. Our work is innovation-driven. For example, we have recently developed tools to foster creativity in expert drummers, a new graphical music programming language for non-musicians and new forms of nonlinear expressive interaction for digital musicians, among many other interesting projects. Since 2010, the lab has attracted external research funding totalling around £4.5 million, supervised seventeen PhD students to completion, hosted around twenty research interns, and published over 160 refereed articles. 

Our research on wearable haptics and music has led to exciting collaborations with the major theatre and music events such as Stables Theatre and the Milton Keynes International Festival. We teamed up to find new ways to promote the inclusion of people with physical, learning and sensory disabilities, such as profound deafness, both as audiences and performers. Since 2014, our lab has started investigating medical applications of our research. In this framework, our haptic wearables that were designed for coordinating the limb movement of drummers became key tools for improving the mobility of people with stroke, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy and Huntington's disease. In Polifonia, we are bringing our expertise and experience to the #ACCESS pilot. In this use-case, we co-design, develop and evaluate wearable haptic technology to enable people who are Deaf or hearing impaired to engage as audience members in live performances.


Photo by Stéphane Bernard on Unsplash

Recent News

The Polifonia team met in the wonderful venues of The University of Bologna to advance collaborative work and discuss the next steps

Between 13-15 October 2021, the University of Bologna hosted the Polifonia project meeting in a hybrid…

19 October 2021
Polifonia joins first edition of Sonar - AI & Music festival to present its exploratory demo

Did you know that the song ‘Michelle’ from the Beatles might have been based on Schubert’s ‘Der…

15 October 2021
Dr Shahid takes on important tasks in data extraction and in the conceptualisation of tools for Polifonia users

Abdul Shahid is a new member of the Polifonia project since August 2021. He joined the team as a Postdoc…

6 October 2021
Prominent figures in knowledge organisation Richard Smiraglia, Andrea Scharnhorst & Femmy Admiraal will give talks in the Polifonia Data Management webinar on 23 September

Join us for the Polifonia webinar on Research Data Management and Knowledge Organisation in Musicology…

22 September 2021
Bringing knowledge of linguistic research used for the extraction of music heritage from the text

What is the relation between your organisation/institution and music?  The University of Bologna…

20 September 2021
Richard Smiraglia, Andrea Scharnhorst & Femmy Admiraal will give talks in the Polifonia Data Management webinar on 23 September

Join us for the Polifonia webinar on Research Data Management and Knowledge Organisation in Musicology…

17 September 2021
Partners from KNAW, CNRS, and OU introduced the Polifonia portal at the Interfaces DARIAH Annual Event 7-9 September 2021

Polifonia members delivered the presentation ‘The Polifonia portal: a confluence of user stories,…

14 September 2021
Enrico Daga delivers two presentations relevant to Polifonia at the SEM-EU conference 6-9 September 2021

Polifonia members are participating in the SEMANTiCS Conference held in Amsterdam between 6-9 September…

6 September 2021
Polifonia and Odeeuropa team up to kick off the First International Workshop on Multisensory Data & Knowledge at LDK, on 1 Sept. 2021

The H2020 projects Polifonia and Odeeuropa join forces to organise the first International Workshop…

1 September 2021
Podiumkunst.net is creating a portal for the rich digital heritage of music and the performing arts in the Netherlands

Polifonia is building a knowledge graph for European musical heritage. In the Netherlands, the new platform…

23 August 2021

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N. 101004746