The Extensible Toy Piano Project

It has a deceptively simple mechanism--plastic hammers hitting steel rods. Yet, the toy piano produces a rich and quirky sound palette. John Cage brought the instrument from a treasured plaything to a bona fide musical instrument with his Suite for Toy Piano (1948). Our aim is to bring the instrument into the 21st Century. To that end, we're offering the electroacoustic composition community a complete set of high quality recordings of a classic Schoenhut upright toy piano.To encourage the creation of electroacoustic compositions that use both live and pre-recorded toy piano, we're sponsoring a composition competition. The project will culminate in a festival in November 2005 with concerts that will feature the winning compositions, and a symposium.

Festival: Friday, November 4 & Saturday, November 5, 2005

Clark University
Traina Center for the Arts
Worcester MA USA

Selected Works : the winners of our composition competition

Festival Schedule

Symposium Participants & Abstracts

Program Notes & Composer Biographies

Press Materials

Featured Performers:

John McDonald, Phyllis Chen and the Callithumpian Consort

with Nancy Newman, Sima Kustanovich & Olga Rogach, Naoko Omuro


Keynote Address:"The Toy Piano in a Post-Prohibitive Age."

Kyle Gann, composer and music critic for The Village Voice


Toy Piano Audio Archives

Call for Participation

Music (download as pdf) | Symposium (download as pdf)

—submission deadline for both: July 15, 2005

Contact information:
Project directors:
David Claman (College of the Holy Cross) <>
Matt Malsky (Clark University) <>

This project enjoys the support of the Group for Electronic Music (a joint endeavor by Clark University and The College of the Holy Cross).
Special Thanks to:John Shirley; Magnetic Flux Music.

site last updated:10/10/05

web design 2004 Magnetic Flux Music