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Uncovering the Secrets of the Fairlight CMI

Join this hands-on workshop and learn more about the Fairlight CMI, an iconic musical instrument which helped start the sampling ‘revolution’ in popular music.

The Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) is a digital synthesiser, sampler and digital audio workstation. In its 1980s heyday—when artists and groups like Afrika Bambaataa, Kate Bush and Frankie Goes to Hollywood used it—it could cost up to £100,000. An example of this iconic instrument is part of our growing Sound Technologies collection.

Join researcher Paul Harkins, National Science and Media Museum curator Annie Jamieson, and former owner Robin Scott (aka M of ‘Pop Muzik’ fame) for a hands-on workshop. You’ll learn about the instrument’s history and how it helped start the sampling ‘revolution’ in popular music.


Tickets for this event have now sold out.

This event is part of the Being Human festival, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, taking place 14–23 November. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.