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Topic: Putting an ear to the past

  1. #1

    Putting an ear to the past

    Academia in Scotland has just discovered sampling

    When a Scottish academic discovered a piece of 17th Century harpsichord music in a little known archive, he was keen to hear it played on the instrument for which it was written.

    But bringing the music back to life proved a hard task for Dr Kenny McAlpine, a lecturer in computer arts at the University of Abertay in Dundee.

    Antique musical instruments are incredibly fragile - some do not hold their tuning for long enough to play a piece, others are too delicate to play at all.

    So Dr McAlpine decided to go for a 21st century solution - and make a digital reconstruction of an antique harpsichord. The digital copy - a keyboard attached to a speaker and piece of hardware which stores and streams sound samples - may not be as attractive as the wooden antique instrument, but it sounds exactly the same as its antique counterpart.

    Soft sounds

    For his project Dr McAlpine used an antique harpsichord from Hospitalfield House in Arbroath.
    There, with the instrument tuned for the process, Dr McAlpine set up microphones to record the harpsichord - recordings which would form the basis of his digital instrument.


  2. #2

    Re: Putting a ear to the past

    Nice to see a report on how life on the bleeding edge of technology is like.

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