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Joined: Dec 2005
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Mary, does this mean your musical career will be over when you get your braces off? Have you worked on any other "band" compositions?

I'm surprized none of the techs have posted a groan at the thought of someone intertwining rubber bands and paper on the strings of a piano.


...I asked my mother if I was a gifted child...she said they certainly wouldn't have paid for me.
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I suppose I have in a sense. A long time ago I noticed that 2^(17/29)= 1.50129... which is remarkably close to 3/2, much closer than the 2^(7/12)used in 12 note equal temperament.

Therefore, an arrangement of 29 notes to the octave ought to give a pretty satisfactory aural approximation to harmonic intervals. I wrote a programme to play music within this scale and experimented with it for some time. 29, being prime, prohibits symmetric chords, which fact I at first considered a blemish. However, 28 and 30 between them account for approximate symmetries of 2,3,4,5,6,7,10,14 and 15 and the diatonic scales are embedded most satisfactorily, all 29 of them.

I had the programme play more or less diatonic passages involving the circle of 29 keys, recorded the result and tried it out on musicians. Nobody realised they were listening to modulations through 29 keys instead of 12, which fact I found amazing.

I keep intending to rework this idea into something interesting but haven't got around to it yet.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
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A couple of years back, I invented a new type of organ pipe. I don't think this would qualify as a new instrument, but at least it works! It is a type of diaphone, but the resonators are very small, and the tone is louder and clearer than in traditional diaphones. Best of all, to produce a note of 16 Hz, the resonator only needs to be about 8' long! If you are curious, I could go deeper into the mechanics of this.

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I designed what I called a "violaclavier" a while back which would be a mechanical bowed-string keyboard instrument. The player would press the keys and these would active a mechanism much like the weighted disc/gear mechanism in friction toy cars that children play with. That mechanism would bring a rotating disc with violin bow string against an actual string. The faster the player presses the key (and the faster the frequency) the greater pressure will be applied to the string. I've also considered having the bowing action powered by pedals, and then the keys would only put pressure against the strings with the rotating bow mechanisms.

Kind of a retarded idea, I know, since we have really good synthesizers now, but I'm a little surprised nobody did that back in the harpsichord/piano/organ era. Maybe someone did I've never looked. Seems like it would work though.

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There's the hurdy gurdy . Not quite what you described, but the principle is very similar.


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Haha...yeah very close only smaller! guess I just designed a "grand hurdy gurdy." I had heard of a hurdy gurdy but I was unaware it used strings. I think when I heard it before it sounded so reedy I assumed it had pipes. That's neat.

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Not invented an instrument per se. Too "old fashion".

(not really, I'm just teasing you to bite in for a debate and flaming, etc! laugh laugh laugh )

No, but I do extensive sound design in my works, which is mighty creative, as far as I can tell.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL1YskdpHzM . Stero image is missing, but this is made from piano and string sounds only!

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