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Posted on August 17, 2022 by  & 
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Turn It Up: The Power of Music - Amazing Technology

Turn It Up: The Power of Music - Amazing Technology
The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester is opening a world-first immersive exhibition exploring the science of music's mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share.
 
Below are some of the amazing technologies that are being featured in the exhibition, including those that are used to bring music to us in new ways, make music more accessible and/or that use music to improve our lives...
 
  • Musical Playback Devices - The exhibition will feature a mass display of playback devices from historical Science Museum Group collection items like gramophones, all the way to more recognisable modern day items including earbuds, and a few forgotten technologies in between
  • MiMU Gloves - Created by renown musician Imogen Heap, they use simple hand gestures to control music-making software remotely, live in the studio or on stage. The gloves featured in the exhibition are first generation prototypes that Imogen distributed to a select handful of musicians to test out, of which Ariana Grande was one. These gloves were owned by Kris Halpin, the first person to use them as an accessible instrument
  • AI Robots - Designed by Georgia Institute of Technology to understand and listen to music like a human but play and improvise like a machine. On display for the first time is Haille the robot drummer who uses its microphone to listen to human drummers then uses its processers to generate and play new drum patterns. As well as Shimon the improvising robot musician, composer and singer
  • Infinite jukebox - Dating back almost 50 years, this small box can create over 14 million unique songs. Called the Triadex music generator, it was made in 1972 to show the potential of computers in composition. Unlike the latest artificial inteligence, the Triadex can only follow pre-programmed instructions
  • Pacifier Activated Lullaby Device - On display for the first time, it is a device that rewards premature babies with lullabies recorded/sung by their parents for sucking on a dummy. The reward of music is a key motivator that has improved the sucking reflex of infants in neo-natal units in the US - increasing their feeding rates and chances of survival
  • Radio Me project - Research project led by Anglia Ruskin University, in partnership with University of Plymouth and University of Glasgow. The project is using AI to deliver personalised music and spoken word for people living alone with dementia. The clinical trial includes: Personalised sessions involving participants living with dementia and a music therapist to identify specific musical tracks likely to prove enjoyable, calming, comforting; Bio-bracelet worn during clinical trials monitors participants' heart rates, with the data analysed by AI for signs of agitation. This also gathers data on how patients respond to Radio Me; A pre-selected playlist of calming music is triggered by the AI from a prototype radio and plays until they are relaxed. Future plans include the AI also triggering the broadcast of reminders to take medication and have drinks, all with the hope of keeping people calm and at home rather than unsettled in hospital
  • MediMusic - Music players are being trialed in UK hospitals. They allow medical staff to dispense music as medicine via the MediMusic app. AI creates a 20 minute playlist drawing on tracks pre-selected for their musical qualities and calming effects. Live data from patients reveals responses and is used to improve track selection
  • Liza Bec is a musician. She developed a rare type of epilepsy triggered by certain ways her fingers moved when playing an instrument. To help her continue playing she built her own musical instrument, the 'robo-recorder' which doesn't require her to move her hands much
  • Sarah Angliss is an Ivor Novella award-winning composer, musician and electronic artist. She creates robotic instruments to perform alongside her on-stage
  • Graham Dunning & Sam Underwood - Graham and Sam invented, and continue to evolve and refine, the modular musical instrument the Mammoth Beat Organ - part of which is on display in the exhibition and features in our unique instruments film. It is a two-player, semi-autonomous musical instrument, which plays unusual, sometimes erratic compositions drawing on drone music, minimalist repetition and fairground organ techniques
  • Clarence Adoo is a professional trumpeter. A car accident left him paralysed from the shoulders down so he worked with inventor Rolf Gelhar to create Headspace - a virtual instrument controlled by his head movements and breaths. It can sound like a trumpet, five flutes or even waves, and has now been adapted to give others a musical voice
  • Dr Ben Schogler is a musician and inventor. He is the co-creator of the Skoog, a musical instrument invented so that anyone could unleash their inner rock star. The colour-coded squishable cube controls electronic music software and has proved a hit for music-makers with disabilities including musician Sally James. Ben is also behind a new 'musical building blocks' exhibit created for our exhibition where visitors can experiment with music-making
  • Sam Battle, built the contemporary flame-thrower organ that features in our unique instruments film alongside our historic pyrophone. Sam also goes by the title of Look Mum No Computer and describes himself as a musician and backyard engineer. He uses self-taught engineering skills to create and perform with an astonishing array of musical machines he's invented - from lightsabre theramins to synth bikes and his lockdown project, the '1000 oscilator megadrone'. See: STUFF - LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER (lots of great YouTube demos)
 
 
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Source and top image: Science and Industry Museum
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