Scientists develop piano keyboard that can sound like guitar

Scientists have developed a new piano keyboard that is fitted with sensors to produce sound effects similar to those heard through string instruments such as guitar.

London: Scientists have developed a new pianokeyboard that is fitted with sensors to produce sound effectssimilar to those heard through string instruments such asguitar.

Developed by a team of technicians, composers andmusicians at Queen Mary, University of London, TouchKeysallows pianists to try out musical techniques previouslyunimaginable on a keyboard.

Each key is fitted with a set of 26 sensors that work muchlike a smartphone's touchscreen to detect touch. The sensorsknow exactly where a finger has been placed, letting theplayer experiment with sounds.

Scientists develop piano keyboard that can sound like guitar

Representational image. AFP

For example, waggling the finger on a key creates thesound of vibrato, often heard from a violin. Sliding it up anddown the length of the key bends pitch, like a rock guitaristdoes, 'New Scientist' reported.

Algorithms prevent the keyboard from going out of pitch orbeing triggered unintentionally, such as when pianists movetheir fingers to prepare for future notes or change handposition.

The finger waggle to create the vibrato sound only workswhen your finger moves fast enough.

The team tested the system on eight pianists who weregiven a musical score to play on the new keyboard.

They were able to play it with little practice, triggeringincorrect vibrato only 9 per cent of the time.

Researchers will launch the keyboard on crowdfundingwebsite Kickstarter later this month to raise funds.

PTI

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