Surfing the web today, I came across a very interesting talk by our music colleagues from the MIT Media Lab. In this video talk Tod Machover, Adam Boulanger, and Dan Ellsey give a quick overview on their work on new musical instruments and the impact that their research has on society.
What I find most compelling in their presentation is the idea to develop musical instruments that non-musicians can play. I am convinced that amateur participation will become a major segment of the changing music industry (GuitarHero and RockBand are only the tip of the iceberg) and the real question that I see from a professional point of view is: will this development have an impact on “actual” music making? Will people learn more traditional instruments because they are exposed to these new ways of participating in music? Or will traditional instruments become less and less popular? How is this development changing the ways in which professional musicians work? Will this movement result in a broader and deeper understanding of what music is and what it can do for peoples’ lives?
See for yourself and let me know what you think. Here is the video (and lots more at TED)
Btw: I think TED.com should have really put Adam Boulanger’s name in the title as well.