iPhones Replace Musical Instruments at University

The University of Michigan is replacing instruments with iPhones in a course titled “Building a Mobile Phone Ensemble.” Taught by scientist and musician Georg Essl, students are learning to “design, build and play instruments on their Apple Inc. smartphones.” iPhone applications like Ocarina allow the phone to produce sounds similar to a flute-like instrument. Building an instrument on an iPhone can transform the phone to produce unique and different sounds. Students program the phone to “play back information it receives from one of its sensors as sound.”

I think it’s awesome that universities are taking a creative initiative giving traditional courses like music class a modern twist. It will appeal to students who are interested in taking a music course but have no musical training. Hopefully the school provides the phones otherwise that would be a very expensive course to take.

I don’t have an iPhone, I’m technologically illiterate, and touch phones weird me out, but I’d be extremely interested to see what these students produce. A public performance is scheduled for December 9, but for now here's a video of a practice performance.



Anonymous said...

Pretty cool, though I really hope DJs don't start using iPhones to play music at the club. I'm already pissed off they've transitioned from turntables to their Macs!

Songplacements said...

Very cool, and just goes to show you never know what's just around the corner that will change the industry forever.

Great post.

David Hitt
Song Placements