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The harpejji is an electric stringed musical instrument developed in 2007 by Tim Meeks, founder of Marcodi Musical Products, and is a descendant of the StarrBoard. The instrument aims to bridge the gap in sound and technique between the guitar and the piano. The playing surface has an isomorphic keyboard layout arranged in ascending whole tones across strings, and ascending semi-tones as the strings travel away from the player with a five octave range from A0 to A5. The first harpejji model, the 24 string d1, was produced from January 2008 through May 2010. It was subsequently replaced by the k24 which also has 24 strings. The latter model includes updates to the internal electronics, a simplification of the fretboard marker system, and a change from maple to bamboo as the primary wood for the instrument. In January 2011, the g16, a smaller 16 string model with a four octave range (from C2 to C6) and mono output, was introduced. All harpejjis use an electronic muting system to dampen unfretted strings and minimize the impact of sympathetic vibrations.
It is primarily played with a two handed tapping technique. It differs from other tapping instruments, such as the Chapman Stick, by way of the orientation of the instrument to the player. The instrument rests on a stand like a keyboard and the strings perpendicular to the player. The instrument allows for the musician to use all 10 fingers to fret the strings, and a single hand can cover a two octave range. New techniques for playing the instrument are beginning to surface, such as strumming with a pick. Unlike the piano, no formal pedagogy has been established for the harpejji.
Players and recordings
Jim Daneker was an early adopter of the harpejji and was among the first to appear with the instrument in public. The first commercial harpejji recording was made by Jordan Rudess for the soundtrack to the God of War III video game. Rudess also has included the harpejji as another instrument on Dream Theater, who already has 2 keyboards, a lap steel guitar and a continuum. Stevie Wonder played his hit song "Superstition" on a 16 string harpejji on the 2012 Billboard Music Awards.
Two time Grammy and Oscar awards winner A.R Rahman has been using Continuum in several of his recordings and live shows. His Oscar nominated song If I rise from 127 Hours featured Harpejji. In the opening episode of Season 3 of Coke Studio India, he played Harpejji in two songs - Ennile Maha Oliyo and Jagao Mere Des
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- U.S. Patent 7,598,450
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- Burlingame, Jon (2011-02-11). Eye on the Oscars: Music. Variety. p. A3.
- Ennile Maha Oliyo http://mtv.in.com/blogs/music/general/ennile-maha-oliyo-ar-rahman-rayhanah-issrath-quadhri-coke-studio-mtv-season-3-50246276.html
- Jagao Mere Des http://mtv.in.com/blogs/music/general/jagao-mere-des-ko-ar-rahman-suchi-blaaze-coke-studio-mtv-season-3-50246273.html