Category Archives: instruments

birth of the gamestrument

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That is fucking wondrous.


First of all, the impact of in-browser-music-making is not trivial or obvious. You can’t be blase about it.

But beyond that, what’s striking about this particular hack is how high-level it is. It pulls the end user up several levels from decisions like the selection of video clips or specification of harmonic progressions. The user is closer to the level of a music game like Guitar Hero, except that game play is open ended. You don’t score points by playing this game, you make music.


It would be cool to use a selection of these open-ended-music-games as the DJ for a party. Maybe there would be a person selecting and queuing up the games, so that there was some kind of playlist. The overall impression would be similar to parties where the music is coming from people doing Rock Band or Guitar Hero.


Know of anything similar out there? Instruments verging on games and vice versa?

parlor guitar



I picked up a parlor guitar dating from the 1890s. It is in completely playable condition, even though it’s on the order of 120 years old.

The price was $750, which is incredible given that an electric from the 1960s goes for a couple thousand.

The plan is to incorporate this into my live set, along with my electric guitar and my 1920s L3. The music for the set ranges from 1800-1900. All together these materials will tell a story about the early development of American music and the prehistory of blues, jazz, country and rock.

See the entire photoset for a detailed look.