Facilitating accessibility in virtual reality musical environments

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Immersive technologies are showing increasing potential for accessible music making. Costs, availability, interfacing methods and open-source development tools allow for exploration of the potential to facilitate atypical minds and bodies. We present a participatory study on the facilitation of accessibility within virtual reality musical environments. This study was carried out during a series of workshops with an experienced group of musicians with congenital physical disabilities and a community music group of novice musicians with acquired brain injuries. We qualitatively evaluate prototype instruments adopted
for hand recognition. We examine this embedded process, asking how a musician may understand, organise and personalise their virtual music environment, while examining how co-locating virtual instruments with physical surfaces can be used as potential aids to accessibility. Findings show that when participants are matched to the technology, it contains potential for musicians to gain agency through a process of shared knowledges and shared explorations. Understanding and personalising their own musical environment means perceiving affordances and uncovering hidden affordances. We find the quickly adaptable, visual, iterative processes of participatory design using VR is engaging and motivating for musicians and the wider network of stakeholders
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2022 International Computer Music Conference ·
EditorsGiuseppe Torre
PublisherInternational Computer Music Association
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780971319264
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2022
Event2022 International Computer Music Conference · - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 03 Jul 202209 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Computer Music Conference ·
ISSN (Electronic)2223-3881


Conference2022 International Computer Music Conference ·


  • Virtual Reality Systems
  • Accessibility
  • Musical Instruments
  • Participatory Design
  • Disability


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