August 25, 2005 Prior to the advent of electronic mass media, the height of home entertainment technology was the player piano – a piano which played music encoded in binary format on perforated paper rolls. The company which became the dominant provider of both player pianos and the rolls they played is still in business today, and rightfully claims to be the world’s oldest software company. Interestingly, QRS (formerly Quality Roll Services) is now selling one of the most remarkable musical instruments in the world - the world’s first player violin, the QRS Virtuoso Violin. The QRS Virtuoso Violin is a real acoustic instrument. It produces sound by moving a bow across a string, just as a traditional violin does. Only in this case, bow and string are controlled by a computer chip rather than a human hand. Unlike the traditional violin, which has four strings, the Virtuoso Violin uses a single three-Inch steel "string-blade" to create sound. The bow, driven by motors and microchips in a box on which the violin is mounted, glides back and forth over this vibrating blade. The resulting sound rivals that of the traditional violin.
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