Connect 2022: EDI Summit Connect 2022: EDI Summit

Instrument Design: Paul Lehrman: 20 years of Electronic Musical Instrument Design at Tufts University

- EDT
150 Massachusetts Avenue, Room B58, Boston, MA 02215

Paul D. Lehrman studied electronic music at Columbia University under Vladimir Ussachevsky, Mario Davidovsky, and Charles Dodge, and received a BFA in orchestral performance as a bassoonist from Purchase College Conservatory. He has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (Music/Electrical Engineering/Art History) from Tufts University. He was the principal author of the longtime standard college text on MIDI, MIDI For The Professional (Music Sales Corp.), has consulted for many electronic music hardware and software companies including Yamaha, Roland, and Kurzweil, and served as executive director of the MIDI Manufacturers Association for four terms. He has been a columnist for Recording Engineer/Producer and Mix magazines, and a contributor to Wired, SoundOnSound, and many other publications.

His music has been heard on films shown on PBS, A&E, BBC, Canal+, Arte, and France 3, and he has received numerous commissions for live performance works involving computers. His 1999 realization of George Antheil's 1924 Ballet Mécanique for MIDI-driven player pianos has put him on the stage at Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, and San Francisco's Davies Hall, among many others, and his documentary film about the project, Bad Boy Made Good, was shown on PBS and has won festival prizes in the US and Europe.

He taught in the Sound Recording Technology program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and since 2000 has been on the faculty of Tufts University where he teaches courses in computer music, musical instrument design, and electronic music history, and is the director of the program in Music Engineering.


The Electronic Musical Instrument Design (EMID) course at Tufts is now 21 years old. Over that time the technology that is used by the class has evolved significantly. The talk will show these changes through descriptions and short videos of student projects over time.