Bean: A Digital Musical Instrument For Use In Music Therapy

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


The 12th Sound and Music Computing Conference, Music Technology Research Group, Dept. of Computer Science, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland (2015)





Music Therapy, Participatory Design, Tangible Interface for Musical Expression


The use of interactive technology in music therapy is rapidly growing. The flexibility afforded by the use of these technologies in music therapy is substantial. We
present steps in development of Bean, a Digital Musical Instrument wrapped around a commercial game console controller and designed for use in a music therapy setting. Bean is controlled by gestures, and has both physical and virtual segments. The physical user interaction is minimalistic, consisting of the spatial movement of the
instrument, along with two push buttons. Also, some visual aspects have been integrated in Bean. Sound synthesis currently consists of amplitude and frequency
modulation and effects, with a clear separation of melody and harmony. Bean is being co-developed with clients and therapists, in order to assess the current state of
development, and provide clues for optimal improvement going forward.
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