University Creates iPhone Orchestra

iPhones now a musical instrument

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iPhones are being used as musical instruments in a new class taught at the University of Michigan.

The students who design, build and play instruments on their iPhones, will perform a free public concert on December 9.

The course called "Building a Mobile Phone Ensemble" is believed to be the first of its kind. The class is taught by Georg Essl, a computer scientist and musician who has been working on developing mobile phones as musical instruments.


"The mobile phone is a very nice platform for exploring new forms of musical performance," said Essl. "We’re not tethered to the physics of traditional instruments. We can do interesting, weird, unusual things."

"This kind of technology is in its infancy, but it’s a hot and growing area to use iPhones for artistic expression."

To build an instrument on an iPhone, the students program the device to play back as sound information it receives from one of its sensors. The touch-screen, microphone, GPS, compass, wireless sensor and accelerometer can all be changed so that when a user runs their fingers across the display, blow air into the mic, tilt or shake the phone, different sounds will come out of the device.

The class requires some creativity and technological savvy according to Essl. "In order to come up with a creative piece you have to engage with the technology, but in order to make technology interesting, you also have to engage with the musicality. These are really hard to separate. We’re trying to teach both," Essl said.

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University Creates iPhone Orchestra
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  • http://provenaffiliatetips.com juliussartine

    Wow that is great, that’s good news for music lovers. I like to hear an orchestra, I fell rejoice to hear that sound, but did we get same music quality, I means if we hear from iPhone compare with direct show? Maybe this iPhone will help an orchestra.

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