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Title: Enabling creativity : a study of inclusive music technology and practices at The Drake Music Project Northern Ireland
Author: Samuels, Koichi Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 022X
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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The Drake Music Project Northern Ireland (DMNI) is a charity with the aim of enabling disabled people to compose and perform their own music independently through the use of music technology. Thus, DMNI is a charity that works at the intersection of music, disability and technology. This research contributes to raising further awareness on the issue of inclusion and disability, and at the same time presents an example of a charity working on practice-based and technical solutions to transcending both material and social disabling barriers to music making. Interviews, observations and professional perspectives on DMNI techniques and inclusive music practices were gathered through a sixteen-month ethnographic study of the charity between 2013 - 2015. In this thesis I explore the ways in which people produce exclusions and barriers to inclusion whilst using computer-based music technology. In addition, I argue that a music technology device’s potential to be used in accessible ways, or to be inaccessible to certain users is not determined by its design. Through practices of adaptation, or by creating assemblies of devices, even interfaces that are not matched to the specific requirements of a certain user can provide access to music making. I argue that a relational understanding of “independence” serves to reveal a layer of activity beneath simply the physical ability to perform musical actions unaided, and recognises that independence also exists in the choices and opinions of the individual. I argue that the practices of resistance to various barriers and constraints to music making at DMNI are highly improvisatory and creative. Moreover, looking at the practices of music making, and the design and adaptation of devices I discuss throughout this thesis, I argue that DMNI provides a space and platform for disabled musicians to exercise acts of resistance against individual, social and material barriers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available