Re: Midi Harp also Harmonica Rascals

	Keith Graham calls the usefulness of the midi-harp into question. 
Well he may be correct. Digital technology can reproduce analog sound 
with only limited resolution--it turns what is really a smooth continuum 
into a series of tiny steps, so technically there is the same essential 
chasm between midi sound and "real" music as between continuous and 
discontinuous mathematical functions. Further, I would agree that no 
existing transducer could probably even pick up the subtle, high speed 
changes in air flow that are heard as varying timbre, wow, flutter, 
growl, and other mouth effects.
	On the other hand, the present technology does not define the 
technical limits. Today's prototype will be the beginning, not the end of 
making a midi harp that can perfectly immitate a real one. Also, despite 
its current limitations, midi technology has produced some amazing 
sounds. I don't see why only keyboardists, guitarists and Kenny G should 
be allowed to play with them, while we who have spent much time learning 
to play the harmonica should be shut out from such experimentation. 
	Changes in musical style are often driven by advances in music 
technology, from the invention of the piano forte to the electric guitar. 
If one's musical interests lie solely in the present styles as 
interpreted through contemporary instruments, then indeed, why 
experiment? You would have to tie me down to switch my 270 for a midi 
harp. Nevertheless, I believe harpers of all styles could enjoy the 
possibilities inherent in a midi harp, even one with very limited 



Spence Pearson                                  pearsone@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

cybermensch                                     University of Colorado, Boulder

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