Compositions for cochlear implantees
An AHRC funded project at the University of Southampton
A collaborative project between the Institute for Sound and Vibration Research and the Department of Music in the School of Humanities at the University of Southampton
A cochlear implant (CI) can enable severely or profoundly deaf people to perceive sounds. Although CIs can provide excellent speech perception in quiet environments, current devices are very poor at conveying pitch information and therefore many CI users express dissatisfaction when listening to music through their implant.
Music is ubiquitous in all cultures. It is an effective means of expression and communication and can promote social inclusion. It can arouse and pacify, having an extraordinarily powerful effect on the emotions. The importance of music for well being and quality of life is reflected by the fact that researchers and CI manufacturers are increasingly turning their attention towards developing CI processing strategies aimed at providing better cues for music perception.
Through a unique series of music workshops this project will explore aspects of music that can be appreciated by CI users. It is anticipated that, through the creative process of composition, CI users and researchers will gain a better understanding of specific music styles and structures that can readily be appreciated and enjoyed through a CI.
This knowledge will be used guide the development of music (re)habilitation materials and compositions specifically for CI users. The impact of the composition workshops and (re)habilitation materials on the music perception ability and satisfaction of CI users will also be evaluated. This two year project will conclude with a public seminar and performance here at Southampton.
Rachel van Besouw, David Nicholls, Ben Oliver, Mary Grasmeder, Anne Wheatley, Sarah Hodkinson, Matt Salvage, Jon Haughton
Each year the AHRC provides funding from the government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities. Only applications of the highest quality are funded and the range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to to the economic success of the UK.