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

Photo by Stéphane Bernard on Unsplash
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

We are happy to announce the fourth episode of the Polifonia series of seminars with experts in AI, musicology, and related fields. The Polifonia seminar #4 will take place on June 28 at 6 pm CET. 

We are happy to announce the fourth episode of the Polifonia series of seminars with experts in…

16 June 2022

The outcomes of the first year of the Polifonia project have been collected in one environment. Researchers, musicians, heritage professionals and anyone interested in musical cultural heritage can now use this ecosystem to find relevant datasets, tools and services in one central spot. Let’s find out more. 

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30 May 2022

Valentina Presutti, Michel Buffa, Luc Steels, Jean-François Trubert and Enrico Daga are preparing a workshop on musical heritage and knowledge graphs for the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC).

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23 May 2022

We all live in information bubbles – there is complete agreement on that. But is it good or bad? These and other questions will be answered by the guest speakers of “Copernicus Festival 2022: Information”, starting on 17 May in Krakow.

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12 May 2022

We are happy to announce the third episode of the Polifonia series of seminars with experts in AI, musicology, and related fields. The Polifonia seminar #3 will take place on May 3 at 6 pm CET and will include a presentation by Mila Bertolo from McGill University (Montreal). In this third Polifonia seminar we will explore the way infants perceive lullabies and we will take a closer look at the cross-culturally consistent features in childhood melodies.

We are happy to announce the third episode of the Polifonia series of seminars with experts in AI, musicology,…

28 April 2022

With great interest Polifonia watches and takes notes on the Dutch initiative by Podiumkunst.net to unite collections of performing arts in a knowledge graph.

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14 April 2022

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28 March 2022

Check out the special itinerary dedicated to historical bells in Italy

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25 March 2022

Frans Elsen Septet’s legacy finds new life through exciting collaboration of music historians, musicians and Podiumkunst.net

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10 March 2022

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