Pikasso – 42 Stringed Guitar
An astounding piece of instrument technology
Deciding to pick up a musical instrument and start taking lessons inevitably means facing a considerable challenge. The piano, violin, organ, oboe, viola, trombone and harp are difficult instruments to master, and require countless hours of practice in order to sound “right”.
However, the orthodox musical instruments mentioned above aren’t nearly as demanding to play as the Pikasso.
This exquisitely bizarre instrument is a guitar with 42 strings, held together by four necks and two sound holes. It was designed by Linda Manzer for guitarist Pat Metheny and took 2 years to be completely ready for playing. The instrument was designed to fit perfectly the virtuoso’s movements, and was thought specifically so that the guitarist would have a wider view of the fret board. Although the instrument weighs merely 6.7 kg, it undergoes a striking pressure of 454 kg, due to the high tension caused by the numerous strings. Internal brass insets in the guitar enhance the musical performance by relieving the musician from the weight of the guitar by mounting it on a stand. The available technology also made it possible for this guitar to play any sampled sound stored in the reference computer.
Resembling Pablo Picasso’s cubist paintings and collages, this musical instrument was designed in order to create a guitar with as many strings as possible.
As J.S. Bach would say, “It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.” Perhaps even Segovia would have some problems playing the right note at the right time on this spacious fret board. However, music’s magic transcends technical difficulties and delivers, everyday, immense delight in our lives.