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

In our newest video Paul Mulholland, leader of WP5 explains how Polifonia intends to let people access or contribute to the music data Polifonia offers, in a way that fits their level of expertise, interest or physical abilities.

In WP5  - Human Interaction with Musical Heritage - the team researches and develops highly interactive…

25 January 2023

Earlier in December, Polifonia’s team from Bologna presented a novel music segmentation method called Pitchclass2vec at the 21st International Conference of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AIxIA 2022). Master student Nicolas Lazzari was asked to present the experiments that were part of this research.

Earlier in December, Polifonia’s team from Bologna presented a novel music segmentation method called…

21 December 2022

WP4 – Musical Heritage Knowledge Extraction from text- develops methods and tools for several purposes.

WP4 - Musical Heritage Knowledge Extraction from text- develops methods and tools for several purposes.…

13 December 2022

In November Polifonia reached out to a Dutch audience. Polifonia looks back fondly on the progress presented to these Dutch heritage professionals. Find the visual report here.

In November Polifonia reached out to a Dutch audience. Polifonia looks back fondly on the progress presented…

7 December 2022

Polifonia’s team from Bologna is gearing up for 21st International Conference of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AIxIA 2022), where Nicolas Lazzari, Andrea Poltronieri and Valentina Presutti are presenting a novel music segmentation method called Pitchclass2vec.

Polifonia’s team from Bologna is gearing up for 21st International Conference of the Italian Association…

28 November 2022

Annual Conference focuses on the CLARIAH digital humanities infrastructure and its use by researchers and other professionals from the heritage field. This free program offers lectures, debates, interactive presentations, workshops and poster sessions and dives into topics like AI, social media, linked data & data stories. 

This year's CLARIAH Annual Conference focuses on the CLARIAH digital humanities infrastructure and its…

21 November 2022

From Beethoven to Metallica, from Pinkpop to the Big Sing, from the beginning of the 20th century through to last week.

From Beethoven to Metallica, from Pinkpop to the Big Sing, from the beginning of the 20th century through…

16 November 2022

Relying on the results of WP2 -ontology-based knowledge graphs- the overall goal of WP3 is to devise approaches to analysing large repositories of music (tunes, songs, etc.) to identify common, meaningful patterns that are indicative of their identity, filiation or cultural association (genres, origin, etc). Work package leader James McDermott explains the ‘Mining Musical Patterns’ work of WP3 in our latest video on YouTube. 

Relying on the results of WP2 -ontology-based knowledge graphs- the overall goal of WP3 is to devise…

9 November 2022

As part of the dissemination of the project results, Polifonia’s consortium partners have the ambition to regularly present their work at symposia and academic meetings, thereby informing semantic, AI, data science, linguistic and humanities researchers of their findings with Polifonia data.

As part of the dissemination of the project results, Polifonia's consortium partners have the ambition…

31 October 2022

Work package 2 develops ontology-based knowledge graphs for representing music collections (symbolic notation/scores, code-based musical assets, annotated audio/transcriptions, metadata) and its historical, cultural, and social context. Watch work package leader Albert Meroño Peñuela explain the role of WP2 within Polifonia in our newest YouTube video.

Work package 2 develops ontology-based knowledge graphs for representing music collections (symbolic…

17 October 2022

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