A Survey of Augmented Piano Prototypes: Has Augmentation Improved Learning Experiences?
Humans have been developing and playing musical instruments for millennia. With technological advancements, instruments were becoming ever more sophisticated. In recent decades computer-supported innovations have also been introduced in hardware design, usability, and aesthetics. One of the most commonly digitally augmented instruments is the piano. Besides electronic keyboards, several prototypes augmenting pianos with different projections providing various levels of interactivity on and around the keyboard have been implemented in order to support piano players. However, it is still unclear whether these solutions support the learning process. In this paper, we present a systematic review of augmented piano prototypes focusing on instrument learning based on the four themes derived from interviews with piano experts to understand better the problems of teaching the piano. These themes are (i) synchronised movement and body posture, (ii) sight-reading, (iii) ensuring motivation, and (iv) encouraging improvisation. We found that prototypes are saturated on the synchronisation themes, and there are opportunities for sight-reading, motivation, and improvisation themes. We conclude by presenting recommendations on augmenting piano systems towards enriching the piano learning experience as well as on possible directions to expand knowledge in the area.