Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Gary M. Lindsay

Second Committee Member

Gary W. Keller

Third Committee Member

Whitney F. Sidener

Fourth Committee Member

John J. Olah


The Akai EWI4000s is the most recent model of the EWI (Electric Wind Instrument) family, first conceived by Nyle Steiner in the late 1970’s. A relatively young electronic instrument, the EWI lacks a complete, organized publication explaining how to fully utilize its technical and expressive devices. Furthermore, no instructional aid exists to explain the parameters of the Vyzex computer editor used to create and manipulate the onboard sound bank of the EWI4000s. The purpose of this study is to inform the reader of how the EWI4000s came to fruition, to develop a complete technical and expressive method for learning to play the EWI4000s, and to create a musically based manual for using the Vyzex computer editor. Using text, diagrams, and musical examples, the method acquaints the reader with the EWI’s internal and external controls by explaining their functions using musical terms easily understood by the common musician. Additionally, new notation is created to constrain the EWI’s seven-octave range exclusively within the treble clef staff making it easier to compose and read EWI music without excessive clef changes and musical octave markings. The new notation also develops symbols to dictate use of the EWI’s expressive devices such as pitch bend, glissando, octave doubling, and harmonization.


Akai; EWI; synthesizer; colored notation; Vashlishan; electric wind instrument