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07.05b. A Two-Line, Analog, Volume-Controlled, Musical Instrument. We went to Saturday's harp concert by Miss Dan Yu (Chinese, thus the "Dan"), who won the 2001 International Harp Competition. It was very good, and I realized that the harp may be unique in allowing, like the piano, for two separate parts to be played simultaneously, but by plucking strings. A violin can play chords, but one hand has to hold the instrument and choose the notes while the other plays the notes. Since each string of a harp is a separate note, each hand can pick and pluck a separate note. But the harp is still digital, like the piano, rather than analog, like a violin.
How about someone designing an electronic instrument that has two or more lines, is
analog, and allows for varying volume for each note? It might be laid out as ten
horizontal strips like violin strings. Pressing a given spot would produce a particular
pitch; pressing slightly to the right would produce a slightly higher pitch. Pressing
hard would make it louder. Such an instrument would have the analog potential of a
violin, with the multi-note possibilities of the piano.
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