We have two substantial papers about bitKlavier coming out in the Computer Music Journal, summer of ’20. Included here are pre-published versions, along with media examples for the figures:
- “Preparing the Digital Piano: Introducing bitKlavier.” Dan Trueman and Michael Mulshine. Computer Music Journal, Vol. 43, Nos. 2-3 (2019)
- “Tuning Playfully: Composed and Adaptive Tunings in bitKlavier.” Dan Trueman, Aatish Bhatia, Michael Mulshine, and Theo Trevisan. Computer Music Journal, Vol. 43, Nos. 2-3 (2019)
In addition, Adam Sliwinski wrote an expansive paper about the performer’s perspective working with bitKlavier.
The first Computer Music Journal paper is an introduction to the instrument:
bitKlavier is a new kind of digital musical instrument, a novel assemblage of the familiar MIDI keyboard with bespoke interactive software. Inspired by John Cage’s prepared piano, bitKlavier both leverages and subverts the pianist’s hard-earned embodied training, while also inviting an extended configuration stage that “prepares” the instrument to behave in composition-specific, idiosyncratic ways. Through its flexible though constrained design, bitKlavier aims to inspire a playful approach to instrument building, composition, and performance. We outline the development history of bitKlavier, its current design, and some of its musical possibilities.
And the second is a deep dive into tuning and temperament in bitKlavier:
Combining a new software system with the familiar interface of the MIDI keyboard, bitKlavier is a versatile instrument for exploring the nature of tuning and temperament. We describe a number of approaches it facilitates, including composed tunings, moving fundamental systems, and a novel adaptive tuning system. All of these are characterized by the overarching design priority for bitKlavier to be a context for musical play and exploration, as opposed to finding singular, “correct” solutions to particular tuning “problems,” as has often been the case historically.
Below are audio and video examples for each paper:
Preparing the Digital Piano: Introducing bitKlavier examples:
Tuning Playfully: Composed and Adaptive Tunings in bitKlavier examples: