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Insights in Sound : Visually Impaired Musicians' Lives and Learning (Hardcover) (David Baker)
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Music has long been a way in which visually impaired people could gain financial independence, excel at a highly-valued skill, or simply enjoy musical participation. Existing literature on visual impairment and music includes perspectives from the social history of music, ethnomusicology, child development and other areas of music psychology, music therapy, special educational needs and music education; as well as more popular biographical texts on famous musicians. But there has been relatively little sociological research bringing together the views and experiences of visually impaired musicians themselves across the life course. Insights in Sound: Visually Impaired Musicians’ Lives and Learning aims to increase knowledge and understanding both within and beyond this multifaceted group. Through an international survey combined with life-history interviews, we draw a picture of how visually impaired musicians approach and conceive their musical activities, with detailed illustrations of the particular opportunities and challenges faced by a variety of individuals. We look beyond affiliation with particular musical styles, genres, instruments or practices. We include a span from beginners to those who have returned to music-making after a gap; and from "regular" amateur and professional musicians, to some who are extraordinarily "elite" or "successful". Themes surrounding education, training and informal learning; notation and ear playing; digital technologies; and issues around disability, identity, opportunity, marginality, discrimination, despair, fulfilment and joy surfaced, as we set out to discover, analyse and share insights into the worlds of these musicians.