Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 August 2019
This personal take describes the motivation, development and eventual commercial release of TouchKeys, an augmented musical keyboard which measures the motion of the player’s fingers on the key surfaces. Digital musical instruments typically lack the mechanical constraints of their acoustic counterparts. Instead, the major obstacle facing novel digital instruments is the time it takes a performer to learn them. TouchKeys preserves the familiar action and layout of the keyboard while adding new techniques such as vibrato and pitch bends, aiming to connect to the expertise of trained keyboardists while providing a gentler learning curve compared to other novel instruments.