Antique Music Box Gets Electronic Upgrade

Music Technology
Antique Music Box Gets Electronic Upgrade

I love how artist Martin Bircher’s “Digital Enhancement” beautifully combines both old and new:

“Digital Enhancement” is an interactive sound installation consisting of an electrified Symphonion Brevet No. 28, a synthesizer, an amplifier and four headphones. The Symphonion musical box dates back to the beginning of the last century and its mechanical workings are combined with digital technology to convert it into a MIDI sequencer. The original music, embossed on steel plates, can be played on the synthesizer, which is programmed to mimic the sounds of the Symphonion. In order to operate the sequencer, a hand-cranked dynamo serves as a remote control.

[via Laughing Squid]

8 thoughts on “Antique Music Box Gets Electronic Upgrade

  1. trkemp says:

    That’s an interesting project, but it doesn’t sound like it’s playing the right notes.

    1. Les Clay (@LesClay) says:

      Yep, a bit spooky. There’s a video of an unmodified music box on Bircher’s page, playing Strauss’ “Roses From the South” waltz. Much more familiar.

      It’s an interesting idea, but I might want to hear something like the actual tune played with different voices.

  2. Piotr says:

    Hand-cranked dynamo serves as a remote control – very interesting invention although it seems as if it is somewhat outdated.

  3. Electronic Upgrade for Antique Music Box | Free Plans Online says:

    […] Make and Laughing […]

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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