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Afternoon Delight: Can a Robot Play the Blues?

by Jerome Weeks 25 May 2012 12:58 PM

A robot guitarist. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s a Russian technology.


Afternoon Delight is a daily diversion for when you’re just back from lunch, but not quite ready to get back to work. Check back weekdays at 1 p.m. for another one.
Vladimir Demin built a robotic guitar that can replace three guitarists (can we pick which three?). It also can quickly pick up a musical number with unwavering accuracy — as here, with “Go Down, Moses.” It still doesn’t sound particularly lively or human, partly because each note is given the exact same attack, and different notes aren’t allowed to resonate or bend. I suspect, though, that such ‘interpretation’ will soon be just a matter of programming.

But will it ever be able to do a kick-ass air guitar version of “Freebird”?