Harmony: A musical instrument for people with a cognitive disability

Harmony is a musical instrument designed to be played by people with cognitive disabilities and their caretakers, friends and relatives.

It was developed for the Studio of Electro-Instrumental Music (STEIM) in Amsterdam. The instrument consists of several plush shapes that each make their own sound (e.g., the wind or birdsong). Manipulating each shape changes its sound (e.g., twisting and turning the blue shape changes the intensity of the wind, shaking it causes it to thunder). Combining the shapes also creates new sounds (putting the displayed shapes together in the shape of a rocket makes the sound of a rocket blasting off). Discovering new sounds requires participants to work together creatively. Harmony was played with and evaluated at the Maasveld Koraal location.

This project was a first-years group project done at the faculty of Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology.