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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reports on a multifaceted ‘disability arts scene’ in music worldwide that comprises visually impaired (i.e., blind and partially sighted) instrumentalists, singers, composers, producers, and others across a range of musical styles and genres. Some such musicians work alone but are usually deeply involved in networks. Others join community music ensembles that can be made up of musicians with a range of disabilities including visual impairments, or that consist entirely of visually impaired people. When promoting their community music participation, some visually impaired musicians draw on the history and traditions of the blind in music across the world, and thus exists the lore concerning special dispensations in the absence of sight. Yet there are also visually impaired musicians who distance themselves from that self-identity. The chapter explores how members of this unique socio-musical group consider the aforesaid ‘scene’ and its integral community music, and how their interpretations correspond or clash; it introduces key matters of accessibility, independent mobility, identity, musical approach and media, notions of discrimination, and social inclusion.

Keywords: music and disability, visual impairment, blindness and partial sight, social inclusion and music, accessibility and music, musical identities

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