Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Music & Performing Arts


Music Recording Technology

First Advisor

Lanier Sammons


This paper examines historical examples of two-player, or tandem, instruments and electroacoustic sound manipulation practices beginning in the nineteenth century, addresses design theory and construction principles for modern electroacoustic performance instruments, and investigates practice for such instruments. The paper begins with an exploration of Jean-Baptiste Vuillame’s octobasse, Maurice Martenot’s ondes martenot (including its distinct sound diffusion apparatuses), and Nicolas Collins’ backward electric Hawaiian guitar as progenitors of new, tandem instruments that require collaboration to produce a single, sounding result. The paper poses that while some of the devices mentioned above hold potential as tandem performance instruments, they were not designed or approached as such and updated designs and approaches may unlock new performance potentials. After assessing these potentials, the paper introduces guidelines for constructing a new class of sonic affectors inspired by the ondes martenot’s palme diffuser and Collins’ backward guitar, designed with tandem performance in mind. Furthermore, the paper chronicles one such device’s design, prototyping, and completion and includes basic instructions for operation and descriptions of viable performance techniques. Finally, the paper reflects on the device from the perspective of an instrumentalist, ponders its utility, and offers lines for future research on tandem performance.

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