Fun_People Archive
29 Nov
Sliding Scale

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 100 09:56:58 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Sliding Scale

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: Jack Doyle <>
Excerpted-from: Technology Review Newsletter <>
November 29, 2000, Vol. 1, No. 11

Imagine a keyboard that could deliver not just the standard 88 notes, but
the infinite array of tones between them. That's the idea behind University
of Illinois researcher Lippold Haken's "Continuum Fingerboard." Although
the performer sits at the device much as he or she would at a keyboard,
that term is a bit of a misnomer -- there are no keys. Instead, fingers
move along a smooth red cloth, under which lies a row of 256 rods mounted
on springs. Pressure to the surface depresses the rods, the movement of
which is monitored by tiny magnetic sensors. Sliding your fingers sideways
along the board produces any pitch you want, as with a violin. Moving them
front to back affects the brightness of tone, and varying the pressure
alters loudness.  Haken has built a half-dozen of the fingerboards and
doesn't see mass popularity in the near future. "It's very difficult to
play," he says.
[No kidding...  -psl]

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