The Gaussophone

Jared D Friedman

A new musical instrument that plays along with you.


The Gaussophone is a new musical instrument played with the fingers of the left hand and a magnet held in the right (or, I suppose, vice-versa for left-handed players). At the same time, it is a computer-generated musical piece that allows the user to play along with it and solo over it, while selecting its next key changes based on what the user plays. At the moment, the computer's contribution begins randomly/probabilistically, and mostly supplies a backing track – the next step will be to have the program wholly base its music on what the user plays, beginning in silence and dynamically adapting to the tempo and pitch of the user's playing.

Other changes that will (definitely) occur before the Spring show are the prettying up of the instrument – replacing breadboard with perfboard, covering magnetic sensors with wood veneer, covering touch strip with thin rice paper.


Interactive Music