Orchestra Allows People with Hearing Impairments to Touch Music

Music might provide audio enjoyment for those who can hear, but it also offers another benefit. Vibrations allow those who have severe impairments to enjoy how instruments create sound.

Conductor Mater Hamori of the Danubia Symphony Orchestra in Budapest decided to pursue a radical idea. The group began to rehearse pieces from Beethoven, a composer who had similar hearing impairments.

Then the performers would get positioned in a way that allowed audience members with the most severe conditions to sit next to them. By placing their hands on the instrument or holding a red balloon, they could experience the vibrations of the music.

Beethoven Lost His Hearing When Composing His Fifth Symphony

Beethoven composed his fifth symphony between 1804 to 1808. It was during those years that it because quite difficult for him to hear. As the condition worsened, he moved to play the piano so that he could feel the vibrations from the sound through the keys.

An audience member of the symphony remarked how stringed instruments produce little tactile vibrations. That means it isn’t a coincidence that Beethoven wrote pieces that can have a profound impact on this with hearing impairments.

By the time Beethoven composed his ninth symphony, he was completely deaf.

The orchestra plans a series of spring performances to bring music to those who might not otherwise get a chance to enjoy it. Using Beethoven as their muse, it becomes possible to touch the melodies that were composed centuries ago.



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