Arpeggio: Minimalist Melody Maker

Arpeggio: Minimalist Melody Maker


Arpeggio is a new electronic musical instrument focused on intuitively creating, saving, and performing melodies without the need for a computer. It instantly loops the notes you select and has room to save hundreds of melodic sequences that can then be linked together to create longer and more complex melodies. Think of it as a pocket calculator, or a sketchpad for melodic creations. It’s designed to appear playful like a toy, but there are no presets or shortcuts to creating melodies with Arpeggio. It only plays what you put into it. Because there is no display to visualize the notes, it builds the user’s musical ability and listening skills.

Arpeggio has a built-in speaker and can run on battery power which allows it to be self-contained and portable. Its modern design and user interface would make it an ideal first instrument for beginners or children interested in electronic music. For more advanced users, Arpeggio can be used as a sequencer to control other synthesizers and sound modules. It can be synced to drum machines or external clock sources for integration into live performances and recording sessions. Additionally, any full sized MIDI keyboard can be connected to Arpeggio for immediate input of full chords.

“We understand that having a feature that someone can intuitively use is more important than having two they can’t. Musicians care about inspirational design and ease of use. Instruments with inspired design inspire better music. Everyone else is designing electronic instruments for electronic musicians; their thought process doesn’t include people who aren’t yet electronic musicians. At our earliest design stages we ask how do we design an instrument not only for professionals to use but also for drawing future electronic musicians in? How do we make something that feels inviting and inclusive? No one else seems to be asking,” explained Product Designer Charlie Lesoine.

Arpeggio was created by Los Angeles based music hardware startup, Tangible Instruments. Tangible takes a holistic approach to instrument design that combines intelligent software, focused UI, and clean product design all in service of musical exploration. Tangible Instruments aims to give musicians the freedom to explore the same old musical elements in new yet intuitively familiar  ways.

Arpeggio is currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter, where it already reached its US$85,000 goal. Their early bird special goes out for US$179 and is expected to be delivered by April 2016.