Web Audio API

Inclusive music

I’ve been a busy man with one thing or the other and more recently I composed a piece of music for soprano saxophone, cello, piano, non-determined ensemble, and electronics.

It’s the electronics bit that I’m posting about. I want to make the piece as inclusive as possible and the non-determined ensemble part allows children or amateur musicians to take part. This part has been made to be very simple to play and uses some improvisation also.

But what about non-musicians or people with disabilities?

That’s where the electronics comes in. Often, in the inclusive process musicians and composers would use the likes of iPads and other electronic devices. This allows the user to interact with samples that the composer has chosen or created and it can be incredibly effective as an inclusive tool.

The problem I see, however, is an accessibility problem. These devices don’t just work on their own. They require complicated and often expensive software. For that reason, I thought I would create my own software instrument for my composition and to make is accessible to everyone, I decided that the Web Audio API would be perfect.

I could create my own instrument on my site. People need only visit the page and start playing with the samples in the fashion I had designed it for my composition.


This coming May 16th and 19th I will be giving workshops on how to create an instrument like this. It will be held in the Foyle Arts building in Ulster University’s Magee campus, Derry.

This is part of  ‘Hearts of STEM’ which has many workshops of this kind. You can find out more by visiting https://heartsofstem.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/hearts-of-stem-2017-workshops/

If you want to see and have a play with one of the instruments I created for my composition click here.


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