Simon Holland founded and directs the Music Computing Lab, a research group in the Centre for Research in Computing. He is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications. His research focuses on the interconnected areas of Music Computing, Human Computer Interaction, and Digital Health. He has served as PI or Co-I on ten external research grants, totalling nearly £4.5 million, including Polifonia (EU, € 3,025,435.06), HAPPIE (Innovate UK, £998,538), E-Sense (AHRC , £200,000), the Haptic Bracelets ( Goldcrest, £75,000) with other grants from ERSC, the NATO Science Committee, and other sources. He has published over 100 refereed research articles and co-edited two books on Music and HCI (in 2013 and 2019 respectively). He was co-author of Human Computer Interaction (Preece et al)— for many years the worldwide best seller in HCI. He was a founding member of the editorial Board of the Journal of Music Technology and Education. He was lead organizer of two international workshops on Music and HCI, including at CHI 2016. He has devised numerous human-centred computing techniques and systems including Harmony Space, the Haptic Drum Kit, the Audio GPS, and Direct Combination.
Robin is Deputy Director of the Music Computing Lab. He is Impact Lead for Computing and Communications and a professor of Computational Musicology at the Open University. He is interested in how music works and why it is so significant as a human activity. His team is exploring this through two approaches: Firstly, through Computational Musicology - What can pattern matching and statistical approaches tell us about the content of music? Secondly, through constructing and investigating Human-AI Collaborative Systems that allow mixed-ability groups to make music in a meaningful and intentional manner.
Paul is a Research Fellow in The Knowledge Media Institute and a member of the Centre for Research in Computing. He has co-supervised PhD research in new user interfaces for timbre and in embodied cognition and music. His research interests include collaborative learning, knowledge modelling and management, end-user programming environments, software visualization and cognitive modelling. Much of Paul's research is concerned with how web and knowledge technologies can be used to support learning in different contexts, whether that be informal museum settings (CIPHER, Bletchley Park Text), informal game-playing for children (TINY-IN), the workplace (CLOCKWORK), at school (PI, SILVER, G-LEARN) or higher education (REFLEX, EuroGene).
David Sharp is a Professor of Musical Acoustics in the STEM Faculty at the Open University. His primary research activities are in the Acoustics Research Group, but he also co-supervises PhD research in the Music Computing Lab. David's research interests are in musical acoustics, in particular measuring and evaluating the playing characteristics of wind instruments. David regularly delivers interactive talks on sound to both local schoolchildren and the general public. He is also an academic consultant for the BBC Coast series and has appeared on the programme several times, carrying out acoustic measurements and demonstrations.
Adam Linson is a double bassist, improviser, and composer, who also designs, develops, and performs with real-time interactive computer music systems. He performs regularly on the double bass, acoustically and with live electronics, as a soloist and in a wide variety of ensembles. He is also a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Computing & Communications at the Open University. His research interests include theoretical neurobiology and ecology, computational psychiatry, and auditory sensorimotor interaction, alongside philosophy of biology and philosophy of modelling. He was previously an Anniversary Fellow in Computing and Philosophy at the University of Stirling, and a Fellow or Visiting Fellow at UCL, University of Edinburgh, and University of Oxford. His publications include research articles in Behavioural Brain Research, Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Frontiers in Robotics and AI, Biology & Philosophy, and Computer Music Journal.
Janet is a Professor in the Computing Department at the Open University and a member of the Centre for Research in Computing. With a background in the social sciences, artificial intelligence and Java programming, she is interested in interdisciplinary research. The focus of her research is on music and pervasive computing, with an emphasis on musicians’ posture. In the MusicJacket project she is working on technologies that support the teaching and learning of musical instruments, with the aim of making the player more aware of healthy habits at an early age.
Current Visiting Researchers and Research Fellows
Current PhD Students
Noam is a respected musician, educator and author with a successful music career combining performance and authoring. He has written more than 100 music publications that have sold over a million copies worldwide. Noam has worked and performed with diverse prestigious artists, including Billy Cobham, Corinne Bailey Rae and Trevor Horn. Noam regularly performs playing the drums at various events and venues across the globe including Womad, Glastonbury and the Reading Festival. Noam was appointed Chief Examiner for the international music board Rockschool in 2009 , where he led, trained and moderated the examiners panel, and developed and produced their highly successful 2012 syllabus. In 2014 Noam founded the company Jungle Jam Publishing to provide high quality educational products and services to music. In April 2015 Noam was appointed as the Principal of The Academy of Rock, an award winning franchise of music schools in Asia. Noam's PhD research focuses on drum improvisation skills through interaction with a reflective conversational agent.
Riasat is a PhD student at the School of Computing and Communications, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. His research is an exciting blend of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Wearable computing, Haptics, Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Health, Gait Rehabilitation, Neurological and Neurodegenerative disorders. His supervisory team includes Dr. Simon Holland, Prof. Blaine Price and Dr. Paul Mulholland. He is funded jointly by the Goldcrest Charitable Trust and the Open University.
Andrea's thesis focuses on Sound-based music style modelling for free improvisation musical agents. Andrea was trained as a jazz guitarist, studied improvisation with Alberto Braida and Stefano Battaglia, and attended workshops with the School for Improvisational Music in New York and Oslo and with the Dutch Impro Academy in Amsterdam. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electroacoustic Composition from the Milan Conservatory, Italy.
Former PhD students
Matt’s PhD research investigated user interface design for the democratisation of end-user algorithmic software. Matt is a Senior Lecturer in Music Technology at the University of Portsmouth and has worked as an engineer and producer since 1996, engineering and producing recordings for both major and independent labels. As a guitarist he has signed recording and publishing contracts and has toured the UK and northern Europe.
Simon's PhD research focused on automatic Music Generation Based On Data Mining. He is currently a game programmer at Resolution Games. Simon's personal website.
Dmitri's research explored the role of mobile digital technology in supporting diabetes self-management Dmitri is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software in Limerick, Ireland.
German Ruiz Marcos
German's PhD research focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of programs that generates music automatically according to the level of tension, for example in computer games.
Vassilis was awarded his PhD at the Open University in 2014. His PhD research focused on validation and analysis of a computational model of human rhythm perception and production based on gradient frequency neural network. His PhD predicted a previously unseen human behaviour in responding to rhythm which was subsequently detected empirically. Vassilis is currently a Senior Data Analyst at the national Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
Kurijn Buys was awarded a his PhD on "Towards a Precisely Quantified Wind Instrument Exciter: A Computational Mouthpiece in Interaction with Acoustic Resonators" in Jan 2018. His PhD research examined hybrid electro-acoustic wind instrument set-ups by replacing the mouthpiece by an electronic virtual equivalent (using programmed physical exciter models on a "real-time" digital interface that is in bi-directional interaction with the real acoustic resonator). As such, the new and precise control possibilities addressed questions found in the music and performance domain, as well as in the field of wind instrument research.
Andrea PhD was awarded his PhD in 2016. His PhD studied digital interactive multi-user tabletops to understand whether and how they can enhance music education. Digital musical tabletops have been around for a while, and yet many of their applications have not been studied thoroughly. Andreas says "I believe such instruments can be invaluable tools when it comes to exploring and experiencing music in a way that can be enjoyable, motivating, and informative, without being necessarily held back by the ability to play a traditional musical instrument."
Advances in technology create new opportunities for small, light, powerful and inconspicuous wearable devices. One of the key aims of Theo's research was the design, development, testing and evaluation of a wearable device capable of monitoring gait and provide a haptic rhythmic cue to the person wearing it. This can be used to assist with the gait rehabilitation and training of people who suffer from neurological conditions affecting their gait.Theo is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science at Herriot Watt University.
Andrew Gustar completed his PhD in the Department of Music, studying with Professor David Rowland (Music) and Kevin McConway (Statistics). His PhD thesis focused on research in Statistical Musicology — 'The demographics of musical works: a statistical approach to historical musicology'. This work is an evaluation of the application of statistical techniques to datasets relating to the population of musical works. The research included a number of case studies examining published music, recorded music, key and time signatures, and other factors. This topic is an offshoot from some methodological challenges encountered during his MA dissertation on the scarcity of Western music with seven beats in the bar. His first degree was in Mathematics, and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.
Oliver is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher in music and multimedia. For more than a decade, he has been composing and performing music. His newly developed instruments and interactive concerts have lead to performances throughout Europe, USA and Australia. He completed his PhD in music computing on a self-funded basis at the Technical University of Vienna with lead supervisor Prof Geraldine Fitzpatrick, and Simon Holland of the Music Computing Lab as external supervisor.
Rose Johnson was awarded her PhD in 2014. Her PhD research was entitled "In Touch with the Wild: Exploring Real-time Feedback for Learning to Play the Violin".
Adam was awarded his PhD at the Open University in 2014. His PhD research focused on 'Investigating the cognitive foundations of collaborative musical free improvisation: experimental case studies using a novel application of the subsumption architecture',
Tom Mudd completed his PhD in Nonlinear Dynamics In Musical Interactions at the Music in 2018, and now holds a Lectureship at the Reid School of Music at the University of Edinburgh.
Anthony was awarded his PhD in 2015. His PhD research focused on an Adaptive Music Generator for Multimedia Narratives, andusing musical features to drive algorithmic music, so that the features can be varied in response to real-time events and parameters of computer games.Anthony previously graduated from Whittier College, California, with a B.A. in music in 2007, and then completed the Music, Mind & Technology master's program at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland in 2009. Much of his previous work has involved Dynamic Tonality, a new way of exploring microtonal music. I have co-written a microtonal sequencer, Hex, and several microtonal synthesizers, which make up the majority of the DT software suite.
Tony is a first year PhD student in the Music Computing Lab investigating the sonification of EEG and physiological data to better support therapeutic and diagnostic interventions. Tony has a first class degree and numerous publications. He has worked as a Research Assistant at Imperial College London, a Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, and as a freelance researcher/technician consultant with other universities including Graz Tech University, Hertfordshire and Barcelona Pompeu Fabra.
Anna completed her PhD in computer-supported collaboration on interactive tabletops for music performance in 2014. She is currently an Associate Professor in Music Technology at the Music Department of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and a Visiting Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. I am Co-Founder and Chair of the organization Women Nordic Music Technology (WoNoMute) (2018-present).
Katie was awarded her PhD at The Open University in the Centre for Research in Computing in 2014. Her PhD research was on the use of conceptual metaphors as a means to evaluate and inform the design of innovative and intuitive music interactions. Her research interests include cognitive understanding of musical concepts, embodied cognition and HCI.
Andrew was awarded his PhD at the Open University in 2013.
His PhD research was on 'A computational model of the cognition of tonality'. He is a musician and has a Bachelor's in Fine Art (Psalter Lane Art College, Sheffield Hallam University) and a Master's in Music, Mind & Technology (University of Jyväskylä, Finland). His principal research area is music cognition, with a focus on the computational modelling of the feelings of expectation and resolution induced by progressions of tones, chords, and keys (Computational Modelling of Tonality Perception). He is also researching, composing, and playing, microtonality and spatial representations of well-formed scales (Use of Multi-touch Surfaces for Microtonal Tunings).
Gordon Mackay was was awarded his MPhil at The Open University in 2013 on "Improvising Tangible User Interfaces".
Tom Collins was awarded his PhD at The Open University in 2011, entitled "Improved methods for pattern discovery in music, with applications in automated stylistic composition.
Allan Seago was was awarded his PhD at The Open University in 2010, entitled " A new user interface for musical timbre design".
Patrick Hill was awarded his PhD in 2007. His PhD thesis investigated Aspect Oriented Music Representation.
Former Visiting researchers and research interns
Dr Annemarie Zijlema
Annemarie Zijlema researched her PhD in Materialising Memories jointly at theUniversity of Technology Sydney (Faculty of Engineering and IT) and Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands (Faculty of Industrial Design). Dr Zijlema worked at the Music Computing Lab as a postgraduate researcher in 2019 as an HCI designer, study organiser and evaluator on the Haptic Bracelets Digital Health Research Project.
Dr Anders Bouwer
Anders Bouwer received a PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2006. In the course of this project he developed the VisiGarp software for inspecting qualitative simulation models in the GARP framework, as well as its successor, WiziGarp. His research interests focus on the use of Artificial Intelligence in education.
Federico carried out research on improving the accuracy and ease of use of low-cost inertial-based movement sensing
for applications in gait rehabilitation.
Fanny was a 4th Year engineering student at Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France. Fanny joined the Music Computing Lab for the summer to write v3.0 firmware for the Haptic Bracelets, and to run empirical tests of passive learning with the Haptic bracelets( 6th May 2014 – Sept 5th 2014).
Kevin wrote v2.0 application programs for Haptic Bracelets, and prototyped IMU-based Haptic Bracelet hardware v2.0. (7th April 2014 – 10th Oct 2014)
Thomas wrote firmware for PCB-based Haptic Bracelets and the original application program suite.
May 2013 – 24 August 2013. (17 weeks)
Maxime Canelli was a 4th Year engineering student at Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France, and joined the Music Computing Lab in 2012 for summer to work on the Haptic Bracelets and Rhythm Bracelets Projects. Maxime also joined the Stern Brocot Band while in the Music Computing Lab and played guitar for various microtonal performances and recordings.
Dr Mat Dalgleish
Mat Dalgleish is a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure at the University of Wolverhampton, and a PhD candidate within the School of Art and Design at the same university. He received his Masters Degree with Distinction from Coventry University in 2006. His research interests focus on musical interaction with computers, with secondary interests that include hardware hacking and circuit bending, generative music, and procedural video game audio.
Rosa Fox is an undergraduate at the University of Sussex. Rosa succeeded in getting the Music Lab's Axon neural midi tracker to work with an electric bass guitar, and worked out how to create new guitar simulations using the software for our Line 6 guitar. Rosa also carried out essential work on the precursor to this website.
Topi Hurtig is based at the University of Tampere and the University of Helsinki, where his studying for a PhD. He is experienced in design and implementation of novel multimodal (speech, tactile, haptic) mobile services, applications and interfaces. His previous projects include a mobile multimodal dialogue system for public transportation navigation.
Fabien Leon is based at the UFR Sciences et Techniques in Brest, in the Département Informatique, where he is taking a degree in Ingenierie Informatique. in 2009 he visited ICCMR in Plymouth, and the Music Computing Lab at the Open University, where he completed his project on a brain computer music interface working under the Supervision of Prof Eduardo Miranda at Plymouth and Simon Holland at the Music Computing Lab.
Gerard Roma is a PhD student in Sound and Music Computing, studying at the Music Technology Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, part of its Department of Information and Communication Technologies. Gerard was a visiting student in the Music Computing Lab at the Open University for two months in 2011. Gerard presented his work on Sound Description at a Music Computing Lab Seminar, and also ran a hands-on workshop on SuperCollider.
Mattia Schirosa is an Interaction Sound Design Researcher working at the Music Technology Group (MTG), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). He obtained the Cinema and Multimedia Engineer Master Degree in 2009, in Turin. He worked in several augmented reality productions for theatre, at the Music Technology research Lab, and in various media productions. His research interests focus on Soundscape exploration/composition and Acoustic Ecology research. He has worked on the development of a software application written in SuperCollider.
Dr Erwin Schoonderwalt
Erwin Schoonderwalt is part of the Speech, Music and Hearing (TMH) group at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. His PhD studies were dedicated to bow-string interaction, the physics of the bow and bow control by the violin player. Furthermore, he is involved in research projects on software development for music education.
External Collaborators and Associate Members
Prof Martin Clayton
Prof. John Cook
Dr Byron Dueck
Dr Patrick Hill
Dr Patricia Howard
Dr Sergi Jordà
Prof. Eduardo Miranda
Dr Allan Seago
Dr Fred Seddon
Prof. William Sethares
Dr Mat Smith
Dr Sylvia Truman
Research Groups and Departments Associated with our Research
The Knowledge Media Institute (KMI)
Mathematics and Statistics
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