### ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

## 3aMU2. Musical instruments, models, and machines.

**Neil Gershenfeld
**

**
**
*MIT Media Lab., Bldg. E15-495, 20 Ames St., Cambridge, MA 02139
*

*
*
A musical instrument is an analog computer. It integrates equations of
motion based on applied boundary conditions and generates acoustic and tactile
outputs. Understanding why the equations of motion is liked is a very hard
problem, fabricating traditional instruments that duplicate desired equations
of motion is a hard problem, but using new technology to emulate and generalize
them is an increasingly easy problem. The remarkable confluence of sensing,
modeling, computing, and communications that is blurring the distinction
between using wood and strings or silicon to solve the same equations will be
discussed. This includes ideas such as the active remote interrogation of
passive structures for sensing, state-space reconstruction for building
observational nonlinear models, cellular automata methods for efficient
first-principles solution of continuum equations, and tools for real-time
computing and communications on general-purpose platforms.