Techniques for Visualization of Sound for Non-hearing People (Visual Keyboard)

In music education, people often state how beneficial fingering, or finger movement is to brain development.  Classical music pieces, such as the Mozart’s, deliver logical rhythms, and it also helps brain development.  Thus, children are recommended to learn at least one musical instrument in early childhood education curriculum.  However, non-hearing (or hearing impaired) people haven’t been able to benefit much from music education due to their physical challenge.

The proposed project will produce software that allows the user to connect a MIDI keyboard to both PC and Macintosh platforms and see visualization of sound while playing using OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) computer programming language.  With this technique, music education for non-hearing can be developed and improved.

Main technology behind the proposed project is to assign each key to a proper color in color spectrum and properly display on the projection using logical computer programming.  There have been few attempts to translate sound into visual information, such as Windows Media Player, yet those were more likely continuous projection of random visual information, and there is no logical relationship between the projected imagery and sound.  The proposed project will investigate more logical connection between musical note and visual spectrum and create an innovative interface between non-hearing people and music in general.

Products of the project will be a software interface to display logical visual information regarding user’s input using MIDI keyboard and several DVDs of interesting visual imagery from famous composers, such as Beethoven and Mozart that can possibly invite non-hearing people into music education.

Most important benefit of the project is sharing with non-hearing people.  Using a proper translation technique, enormous benefits from music and music education can be shared with non-hearing people.  Non-hearing people should be treated as people who have their own language and culture, and this project will make a noticeable impact on sharing cultures between hearing and non-hearing people.




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