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Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Most Revolutionary Musical Instrument In 60 Years?

According to the company, the Eigenharp Alpha is “the most revolutionary musical instrument of the last 60 years.” Don't know if that's true, but the instrument is truly unique and one of the most unusual that we've seen in some time. It combines breath and finger input in the form of a bassoon, but with the extended physical control that comes with having a computer interface and custom software.

That being said, the Alpha doesn't have an internal sound source of its own. The breath input comes from a mouthpiece just like a bassoon, but that's nothing more than a controller (remember the DX7 mouthpiece?). When combined with the finger control from either the touch strip, a fretted light-up keyboard, or keys, it's said to have much more expression than a physical instrument.

At about $6,500, I don't know how soon we'll be seeing the Alpha show up on a stage near you, but it's about the only instrument worth a notice in a long, long time.

Here's an interesting piece on the Alpha from the BBC entitled Do you drum it, strum it or stroke it?

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