A violin rigged up for research purposes.

A Robotic Violinist for Carnatic Music

Hathaani A Robotic Violinist for Carnatic Music

Hathaani is a novel robotic violinist that is designed to play Carnatic music - a music system popular in the southern part of India. The robot plays the D string and uses a single finger mechanism inspired by the Chitravina - a fretless Indian lute. A fingerboard traversal system with a dynamic finger tip apparatus enables the robot to play gamakas - pitch based embellishments in-between notes, which are at the core of Carnatic music. A double roller design is used for bowing which reduces space, produces a tone that resembles the tone of a conventional violin bow, and facilitates super human playing techniques such as infinite bowing. The design also enables the user to change the bow hair tightness to help capture a variety of performing techniques in different musical styles. Objective assessments and subjective listening tests were conducted to evaluate our design, indicating that the robot can play gamakas in a realistic manner and thus, can perform Carnatic music.

Raghavasimhan Sankaranarayanan


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