A software tool to help the deaf and hard of hearing experience music visually

Rosario Chavez, University of Texas at El Paso


When a D/deaf or hard of hearing person is affected by hearing loss they are unable to hear themselves or others. If they do hear sound, it is distorted, or it sounds quieter and/or they cannot hear high tones. ^ When listening to music they only catch a couple of the words and music in the song due to their hearing loss. Many hearing aids do not help as they are designed for speech. ^ Music can be experienced by three of the five senses. The software application developed presents music visually to assist the deaf and hard of hearing people pick up on song information they miss out on. Three visual features were chosen for the task: lyrics, a beating heart, and a spectrogram. A fourth component is added to provide the tactile element. Participants interacted with this system, called Byrics. They selected a song and were exposed to each of the three components individually. The participants indicated that the visual features added to their appreciation of the song. ^

Subject Area

Computer Science

Recommended Citation

Chavez, Rosario, "A software tool to help the deaf and hard of hearing experience music visually" (2007). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1449743.