Laptops aren't 'real' instruments...

So, I got a call a few weeks ago from a chap who'd applied to the new licensed busking scheme on the London Underground (more information


). Anyway, there are certain rules and checks in place to make sure that the buskers are of a degree of quality before they're accepted on this scheme. Our friend went through all the form-filling and checks, only to be told that busking using a laptop wasn't considered acceptable, as a laptop can't be considerd a 'real' instrument under their T&C.

Hmm, okay, so maybe a laptop isn't a 'real' instrument, but surely it's a perfectly credible way to create music? Would they have turned him away if he'd shown up with a Triton or OASYS...? We think not.

So are laptops instruments? Are turntables instruments? CDJs? Synths? Where do we draw the line?