Conventional wisdom says that composing music requires high levels of skill and training, with the possible exception of the occasional genius. But composer Tod Machover believes that all we need is a little bit of technology. Known for being “The most wired composer,” Tod has created tools that allow even the novice music lover to compose notable pieces. Working out of MIT’s now famous Media Lab, Tod helped develop “Music Toys” that can be played by anyone – no need for extensive musical training. There’s the Hyperviolin that can be played by celebrated musicians such as Joshua Bell and by any ordinary Joe music lover. Music Shapers and Beatbugs are also toys that anyone can use to compose music. Whether it’s Yo Yo Ma, Prince or you, Tod’s technology is for all.
Tod Machover was studying music at Juilliard when he was drawn to computer programming – back in the 1970s. Like geeks everywhere, he saw possibilities where others saw fences, and soon enough a whole new world of possibilities opened up. And if you’ve ever played Guitar Hero, it can be traced back to the MIT Lab where Tod and others work and teach. But not all are fans. This type of technological approach to music has been criticized by some musicians. Others see it as just another simplistic device, not useful for professionals – same thing that was said about the iPad before millions of that device flew of the shelf.
- New Media
- How To