Tag: design

New Interfaces for Musical Expression

By Michael Lyons



Gestural control without primary feedback. i.e.. Theremin.

Perry’s Principles (perry cook)


  • P1: Programmability is a curse
  • P2: Smart instruments are often not smart
  • P3: Copying an instrument is dumb, leveraging expert technique is smart
  • P4: Some players have spare bandwidth, some do not
  • P5: Make a piece, not an instrument or controller
  • P6: Instant music, subtlety later


  • P7: Miracle, Industry Designed, Inadequate
  • P8: Batteries, Die (a command not an observation)
  • P9: Wires are not that bad (compared to wireless)
  • P10: New algorithms suggest new controllers
  • P11: New controllers suggest new algorithms
  • P12: Existing Instruments suggest new controllers
  • P13: Everyday objects suggest amusing controllers
New (as of 2007)
  • P14: More can be better (but hard)
  • P15: Music + Engineering is a great Teaching (and Marketing) tool
  • P17: Younger students are more fearless