Atlanta Life and Culture

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Contest at Georgia Tech, with finals Friday, spurs new musical instruments

An edible piano, a synthesizer that sings, a squeezable musical sponge, these are some of the tuneful devices created by inventors participating in the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition.

Sponsored by Georgia Tech since 2009, the contest attracts tinkerers from all over the world with hopes of winning the $5,000 first prize, and/or becoming the next Robert Moog.

Some 20 semifinalists in the 2015 Guthman contest will demonstrate their innovative instruments to a panel of judges this Thursday and Friday and compete for a total of $10,000 in prizes. The finals, 7-9 p.m. Friday, are free and open to the public.

One of the semi-finalists, called cantor digitalis, is a synthesizer that generates a human voice, controlled by a stylus on a graphic tablet. A group of "digitalis" players can look like monks in a scriptorium. (Take a look at an example  here .)

See a story on the contest here.

Performances during the finals, 7-9 p.m. Feb. 20, are free and open to the public, and take place at the Klaus Building, 266 Ferst Drive, Atlanta. Consult a campus map for directions. Information:


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About the Author

Bo Emerson is an Atlanta native and a long-time AJC feature and news writer.