Play us a song: the (Hyper)piano man

Publish Date

Christopher Taylor has the hands of a musician, his fingers most at home striking the keys of a piano, and an analytical mind honed by years of computer programming. Now after tackling his latest endeavor, Taylor can also call himself an engineer, a builder, a maker.

Taylor, a professor in the School of Music at UW-Madison, recently finished building a Hyperpiano– an instrument of his own design– in the Fab Lab of the Medical Engineering theme at the Morgridge Institute for Research. The master instrument has two keyboards that outsource sound by wirelessly sending signals to two secondary pianos.

“I’d never done any woodworking before, and certainly nothing in the machine shop,” Taylor says. “Going into this project, I barely knew the different sizes of screws. But designing and creating has been very satisfying, and I’ve enjoyed learning all these new skills.”

Kevin Eliceiri, director of the Fab Lab, says it was Taylor’s unique vision and passion for the project that made him and his piano a good fit for the Fab Lab.

Read the story at the Morgridge Institute for Research News . . .


Building a piano is no small task, and this novel design required mechanical and electrical work over a nearly five year period.  The Fab Lab team offered resources and technical assistance to help Taylor accomplish his goal.