Guthman Identifies Next Generation of Musical Instruments

Guthman winner Subhraag Singh showcases his instrument.

Atlanta, GA

“Pushing the envelope of what music can be.”

That is what Gil Weinberg told Atlanta Magazine about the Margaret Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition. Weinberg is the contest organizer and director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology.

The competition aims to identify the world's next generation of musical instruments, and allows competitors to showcase their inventions and compete for monetary prizes.

Competitors come from around the world and from a range of backgrounds: engineers, musicians, students, and designers.

The magazine looks at the competition and winners and finalists from last year.

Among those is the Lyharp, a 23-string acoustic electric harp that is played horizontally with two frets; the Salimbaa, which has 36 strings stretched across a wood-topped steel bowl, with half the strings played by a mallet while the other half resonate in harmony beneath; and the Rib Cage, a spine of aluminum bars lined with 3D-pringed plastic “ribs” that can be struck with a mallet or sawed with a violin bow.

Last year’s winner was Subhraag Singh (pictured above) from Stuttgart, Germany. He demonstrated his Infinitone, a woodwind-like instrument that he has described as “the saxophone of the future” and which expresses an infinite spectrum of sound. According to the magazine it produces a range of 256 different notes per octave.

Singh encountered a few difficulties during the show but emerged as the winner. One of the judges, Daedelus, a producer and electronic musician, told the magazine: “What he didn’t have time to tell everyone was that his instrument has 256 different notes in a scale,” Daedelus said after the show was over. “It opens up a realm of possibility that is really significant.”

The annual event takes place March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ferst Center for the Arts on the Georgia Tech campus.

Read about these musicians and more in the full article.