Chiel Zwinkels

The Arithmophone

The Arithmophone is a thing that turns numbers in to sounds. Its name is derived from the ancient Greek words ἀριθμός (arithmos; number) and φωνή (phone; sound).

The Arithmophone currently exists as a family of software keyboards. You can use these to turn your touchscreen device into a musical instrument, as a source of melodic and harmonic inspiration and a way to explore familiar and unfamiliar tuning systems.

The Arithmophone 7 is a software instrument that you can play from any phone, tablet or computer. It is web based, so you can play it straight from your browser, but you can also install it as a standalone app, which provides a nice full screen experience and is also available when you’re not online. To start playing the Arithmophone 7, just hit the button below. The Quickstart Guide explains everything you need to know to get started.

The Arithmophone 7 provides seven different keyboard layouts, each of which uses a different tuning system. All of these systems have their own possibilities and limitations and their own specific sonic signature. One of the key purposes of the Arithmophone is to make these different tuning systems available for easy exploration and direct comparison.

Most of the keyboards that are featured in the Arithmophone 7 are also available in Midi versions, so you can use them to control your own hardware or software instruments. Visit the Arithmophone Midi page to find out more.

For details about the acoustic principles and design philosophy behind the Arithmophone instruments, links to previous versions of the Arithmophone and more, please visit these pages.

Arithmophone concept, design and development by Chiel Zwinkels © 2024