The Laptop Tanpura

Maya Acharya Music 220a Final project

I created this because for the past couple years, I have been interested in exploring the art of South Asian music, because it is something I grew up listening to through my mother, and has a lot of personal significance for me.

While I have listened to a lot of South Asian music, both traditional and modern popular, my musical training is in western classical and jazz. I've tried emulating the sounds and moods that I associate with South Asian music on my guitar, but often I wish I had a tanpura drone in the background.

To that end, I created a Tanpura instrument in Chuck that can be completely manipulated by your computer--no tanpura needed! This way, I can set the scale and tempo, and have the Tanpura in the background while I play music on my guitar.

True to my mission and the name "Laptop Tanpura," I made this to be something I can use by plugging my guitar into my laptop via Soundcard, using headphones, and making the music I want. For that reason, the Tanpura is spacialized in stereo.

Using keystrokes, you can start different notes on the Tanpura, change the chord, and start articulation notes!

If you want to change the starting tonic note or the tempo, you can simply edit the global variables at the top of "". There's also more info on what techniques I used while writing the code in the comments on the code.

Also here's a pic of a real tanpura if you're curious



Here's a diagram to show how all the different pieces of code are used for my final product.

Code Diagram
Example, recorded during rehearsal session on a handheld recorder (raag.wav) (calls clips)