Music Technology

Music is something that we feel, the rhythm of the rain, the maternal heartbeat for a foetus in utero and the pulsating waves from a base drum to a person without the ability to hear. Music is experienced, therefore access to express these feelings should not be confined to a select few.

Over a series of postings i will take a look at some newer instruments which may enable budding musicians to find their groove and also highlight some of the existing accessible options. Please join in to create our universal orchestra -all together now!

black and white graphic of an orchestra conductor.


Me, Myself and I

Basically whatever you have use it, voice is one of the more widely used instruments but toe tapping, humming, clicking, clapping all adds to the orchestral piece.

One of the more creative examples of this is producing a sound by clapping both hands together so that the air is trapped between the palms, then squeezing the air out vibrating the skin of the palms, here is one such musician displaying his talent a so called manualist enjoy!

Click and play

bliptronic 5000. a square electronic instrument that is programed by pressing buttons on an 8 by 8 matrix
Bliptronic 5000

An evolution for the market of the more technical Matrix Synthesisers such as Bliptronic 5000 (image above) a software based musical sequencer by selecting squares to start and stop beat find out the basics and have a try on this website

Below is some inspiration to get you going..

could switch users take part, how about the deaf? Tell me how!

Ever heard of a Skoog?

man with glasses holding a scoog, a white cube with coloured convex buttons on each face.

Sounds like a range in Ikea, but it is actually a new exciting musical instrument and tool for inclusive education. The brainchild of Doctors David Skulina (Physics/Music) and Ben Schogler (Psychology/Music) developed in the University of Edinburgh, the Skoog boasts usability for those unable to play traditional instruments. It is a soft squeezable cube shape with 5 colourful buttons on sides (barring that on which it sits). Plugging straight into a USB port the Skoog adapts to the users movements tap, flick, touch, squash, press any of the surface area programmable with a choice of scale and notes, different instruments and even upload sample sounds yourself. With its versatility, sensitivity and innovative design features the Skoog sure does seem to tick all the boxes.

Skoogadellic baby yeh!!


hand holding black pacman looking instrument

Well who is this little cutey, 3 dimensional pac man and a vertical tail with attitude. Is it a toy or is it a musical instrument shaped like a quaver note lasting 1/8 of a bar? That is up to you, but what I can tell you it is the quirky invention of a Japanese art group Maywa Denki who engineer imaginative products and perform demonstrations. Little pac man himself has a face which will sing creating the vibrato effect by squeezing his cheeks, the tail which is both pitch and tone is controlled by sliding a finger along the either towards or away from base. Otamatone masters have further controls available on the back to refine performance ability, although many otamatonists prefer to freeform and release the musical beast within. 3AAA batteries are required and a high functioning ability of motor control in both hands is crucial to operate the product efficiently. With 5 colours to choose from black, white, yellow, pink and blue the otamatone can be used from experimentation right through to recital.

and now even an app..

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