The Kalichord : A Physically Modeled Electro-Acoustic Plucked String Instrument

Schlessinger, Daniel and Smith, Julius O.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We present the Kalichord: a small, handheld electro/acoustic instrument in which the player’s right hand plucks virtual strings while his left hand uses buttons to play independent bass lines. The Kalichord uses the analog signal from plucked acoustic tines to excite a physical string model, allowing a nuanced and intuitive plucking experience. First, we catalog instruments related to the Kalichord. Then we examine the use of analog signals to excite a physical string model and discuss the expressiveness and form factors that this technique affords. We then describe the overall construction of the Kalichord and possible playing styles, and finally we consider ways we hope to improve upon the current prototype.