Georgia Tech’s 2012 Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition

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Georgia Tech is no longer accepting submissions to the 2012 Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. Finalists will be invited to Atlanta February 16-17, 2012, where contestants will compete for $10,000 in cash prizes.

“The Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition is a platform for bringing like-minded inventors and composers together from all over the world to develop their ideas and careers,” said Gil Weinberg, director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. “We encourage anyone with a great idea that pushes the envelope in musical expression to enter.”

An annual event to find the world’s best new ideas in musicality, design and engineering, Wired magazine has called the competition an “X-Prize for music,” and contestants have likened it to a TED Conference for new musical instrument designers.

This year, winners will be selected by an expert jury panel that will include Atau Tanaka, media artist and researcher, and Cyril Lance, chief engineer at electronic musical instrument manufacturer Moog Music.

In addition to Best in Show prize and Best Student Submission award, prizes will be given for entries in five categories. See examples from past competitions on the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology YouTube channel. The categories are:

Mobile: musical instruments that take advantage of the unique interface elements and extreme portability of either standard smartphone platforms or custom-made hardware devices to revolutionize how and where music is made. See an example from past competitions.

Robotics: mechanical devices that play an existing acoustic instrument or contain such an instrument within their design, facilitating the performance of novel music and/or creating novel collaborations with other musicians while they demonstrate the potential for musicianship in the robotic realm. See an example from past competitions.

Repurposed: musical instruments that are inspired by existing non-musical objects, building upon their design to show the latent musicality we regularly encounter but might not otherwise notice. See an example from past competitions.

Augmented: musical instruments inspired by existing acoustic instruments, building upon their existing design, playing technique and performance practice with new elements that extend their expressive capabilities. See an example from past competitions.

Controllers: novel hardware interfaces that can be readily connected to other software or hardware via a standard protocol, immediately expanding the expressive performance capabilities of anything with which they are linked. See an example from past competitions.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Joanie Chembars
  • Created:12/01/2011
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016


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