Designing musical instruments to make performance accessible to novice musicians is a goal which long predates digital technology. However, just in the space of the past 6 years, dozens of instrument designs have been introduced in various academic venues and in commercial crowdfunding campaigns. In this paper, we draw comparisons in design, evaluation and marketing across four domains: crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo; the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) conference; conferences in human-computer interaction (HCI); and researchers creating accessible instruments for children and adults with disabilities. We observe striking differences in approach between commercial and academic projects, with less pronounced differences between each of the academic communities. The paper concludes with general reflections on the identity and purpose of instruments for novice musicians, with suggestions for future exploration.