New Electronic Musical Instruments

Updated December 15, 2011

 

By Roger Linn

 

One of the subjects I find fascinating these days is new electronic musical instruments, new ideas that break entirely with mechanical sound generation in favor of high-tech sensor interfaces and software synthesis. And the ones that most interest me are those that can produce--or at least attempt to attain--finely nuanced musical subtlety.

 

I've compiled a list of some of the ones I like best--some shipping, some out of production, some currently in development and some unique ideas that may never ship. I've divided them into three categories-- polyphonic multidimensional controllers, other tuned instruments (both intended for playing 12-tone notes and chords), and controller instruments (intended for controlling or conducting music or sound from existing sources). Click the buttons at the upper left to learn about these innovative products.

 

In 50 years, what musical instruments do you think people will be playing? While keyboard, guitar and other contemporary instruments will likely still be in use, I'd be willing to bet that a few new ones will be popular. What will they be? I don't know, but I'd guess that they will contain ideas that first appeared in some of the designs shown on these pages.

 

If you're aware of an interesting sensor-based music interface that I haven't listed here, please let me know about it at support@rogerlinndesign.com.

Roger Linn Design  •  Berkeley, CA, USA

Roger Linn Design  •  Berkeley, CA, USA