Aural Diversity Conferences

The first Aural Diversity Conference will take place on Saturday November 30th and Sunday December 1st 2019 at De Montfort University, Leicester and at the Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester.

It will coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at University of Leicester. It will be a ‘relaxed’ event, designed to be accessible to all.

The conference theme is the consequences of aural diversity for sound and music. The conference will comprise academic papers and musical performances that conform to the Aural Diversity conventions.

Keynote Papers:

  • Prof John Levack Drever - Phonating Hand Dryers: exploits in aural diverse composition and co-composition.
  • Dr Alinka Greasley - Exploring the music listening behaviour of people with hearing impairments: patient and practitioner perspectives.
  • Prof Andrew Hugill - Consequences of Ménière’s Disease and other forms of hearing impairment for musicians, their music-making, hearing care and technologies.
  • Prof Peter Rea - Aural Diversity: the consequences of pathology and treatment. A surgeon’s perspective.

About the keynote speakers:

  • John Levack Drever is Professor of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Art, and Head of the Unit for Sound Practice Research (SPR), Goldsmiths College.
  • Alinka Greasley is Associate Professor in Music Psychology at University of Leeds, and Director of the Hearing Aids for Music project.
  • Andrew Hugill is an Emeritus Professor of Music, and Professor of Creative Computing, University of Leicester.
  • Peter Rea is Chairman of the British Society of Neuro-Otology, and ENT surgeon at University Hospitals Leicester.

    Call for papers

    The full extent of the differences in hearing between individuals is slowly being recognised. It is a fact of life that all people are affected by age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) which begins in their mid-20s. But hearing can also change in other ways during a typical lifetime. Millions of people have hearing loss caused by various conditions such as diseases and disorders, traumas and shocks. And hearing changes do not always involve loss: in some cases hearing can become more acute. Yet the sound and music industries assumes that everybody has the ears of a healthy 18 year old (BS ISO 226:2003).

    The conference will consider such questions as:

    • What adjustments should be made to accommodate diversity in hearing?
    • How does aural diversity transform listening?
    • How can audiology and hearing aid design take better account of aural diversity?
    • What new technologies can be made to accommodate different hearing types?
    • What are the consequences for composers of aural diversity?
    • How is musical performance affected by changes in hearing?
    • How may sound studies accommodate aural diversity?
    This is not an exhaustive list and other related topics are also welcome.

    We invite proposals for either or both of the following:

    • Academic papers (20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for questions)
    • Musical performances and/or artistic statements (10 minutes)

    Please submit proposals by July 2nd 2019 using the Abstract Template to

    The conference will be interdisciplinary, and contributions are invited from music, sound studies, audiology, hearing aid design/manufacture, and other fields that relate to this area. Academic papers will be eligible for inclusion in a subsequent peer-reviewed book publication. There will be a registration fee of £25 (£10 for students, senior citizens, disabled and registered unemployed people).