New Digital Musical Instruments: Control and Interaction Beyond the Keyboard



John Sullivan


Eduardo R. Miranda, Marcelo M. Wanderley


In New Digital Musical Instruments Eduardo Miranda and Marcelo Wanderley focus on musical instruments that use the computer as the main sound-generating device. Such instruments often consist of a gestural controller driving the musical parameters of a sound synthesizer in real-time.

With very few exceptions, electronic musical synthesizers have been designed since the very early models to be played with a piano-like keyboard. Astonishingly, the appearance of the digital synthesizer and the definition of the MIDI protocol did not change this trend. It is not by chance that in pop-music parlance, performers who played the synthesizers were often referred to as keyboard players.

With the emergence of software-based synthesizers and the availability of increasingly faster and more affordable personal computers, musicians started to implement their own digital musical instruments and create demands for controllers other than the keyboard itself.

Over the last decade a community that remained largely marginalized by the academy and industry for a number of years has been the source of various interesting developments in this area. Apart from a few papers scattered in various journals and the proceedings of the relatively new NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) conference proceedings, there is no concise literature on this fascinating new topic. This book is an attempt to document such developments and inform researchers and musicians interested in designing new digital musical instruments with control and interaction beyond the conventional keyboard paradigm.

Publication Details:

A-R Editions, Inc
Middleton, WI, USA

IDMIL Participants:

Additional Information: