The Trichord ™
A new instrument for teaching, learning and playing music
The Trichord is a musical instrument that consists of a 12 buttons which are arranged on a surface in a geometric form which reflects the fundamental harmonic relationships between the 12 tones of the chromatic scale. The form is based upon a solid theoretical model that has the potential to greatly impact the way music is taught. The 4 basic triad types are each represent by simple shapes which can be learned by anyone in only a few minutes. Once these basic shapes are learned chords may be played in any key by spatial transposition. The correspondence between the aural and visual reinforces the harmonic/geometric relationships in a fundamentally intuitive way.
The charts below show how each of the basic chord types is represented on the Trichord. Major triads, minor triads, augmented triads and diminished triads are all represented by a simple shape. The major triad is a triangle pointing upwards. The minor triad is triangle pointing downwards. The augmented triad is a straight line pointing upwards to the right and the diminished triad is a straight line pointing down and to the right.
The space between the buttons is ergonomically designed so that triads can be easily played with one hand.
may also be used as a display device. By connecting any
Trichord prototype consists of 12 lighted
buttons mounted in a wooden frame. The buttons are connected to a
micro-controller board which scans the switches, detects when they are pressed
and sends an appropriate message out of a serial port to an external sound
generating device. The
When a button is pressed, the
micro-controller sends a
display prototype consists of 12 LEDs
(Light-Emitting Diodes) encased in translucent plastic spheres These LEDs are connected to the