PhD Studentship at SARC: Designing inclusive music technologies

Deadline: Fri 30 Jun 2017 - 17:00

The SARC studentship detail is as follows:

Title: Designing inclusive music technologies: Transforming lives of disabled musicians through music improvisation and digital technologies

Main academic supervisor: Dr Franziska Schroeder Sonic Arts Research Centre Queen’s University Belfast BT7 1NN

Partners: Drake Music NI (; Farset Labs Belfast (; and the Ulster Orchestra (


This project will examine practices of inclusive music making and accessible design with digital musical instruments, used by disabled musicians. The aim is to undertake an interdisciplinary exploration combining music improvisation, and digital design of inclusive musical interfaces. The studentship allows for a music/interface design researcher to work in the areas between music improvisation, critical disability studies and digital design to highlight and implement innovative modes of inclusive musical interactions for disabled musicians. The research is industry facing as the researcher works between Queen’s University (Sonic Arts Research Centre), Drake Music NI (a charity working with disabled musicians), the Ulster Orchestra (to test and implement designs, with view to creating a unique inclusive music orchestra in Northern Ireland that includes abled and disabled musicians), and digital design company Farset Labs Belfast (to develop and make inclusive musical instruments tailored to the needs of disabled musicians).

The researcher might investigate how music technology might be seen as a barrier or as a facilitator; to what extent the design of music technologies might enhance and facilitate participation in music making; the question of music improvisation and inclusivity; how improvisatory strategies might support inclusive music making in the context of working with digital musical instruments; how we challenge traditional musical ontology. And finally, the researcher might look into a wider understanding of disability, and address the extent to which inclusive approaches to music making can empower disabled people, and thereby challenge exclusionary practices and the marginalisation of disabled people in music making.

Please see attachments for application details.