• iPhone Orchestra Readies for Debut

    There are plenty of things that we've seen, heard, and done with the iPhone. But an "iPhone orchestra" isn't one of them. Until now, that is.

    According to 9to5Mac:

    Students at the University of Michigan are learning to design, build and play instruments on their Apple smartphones as part of a course called "Building a Mobile Phone Ensemble". This course is taught by Georg Essl, a computer scientist and musician who has worked on developing mobile phones and musical instruments.
    The "iPhone concert," which will play out next Wednesday, December 9th at the University of Michigan, will stay true to its title. Not a single traditional instrument will be used. Every contributor will hit their high notes on the iPhone only. The concert comes as the crescendo to a semester-long course study aimed at helping students learn to program applications enabling them to utilize the iPhone's myriad input sensors in order to achieve a variety of sounds. These "sounds" will be the basis of next week's concert.

    The touch-screen, microphone, GPS, compass, wireless sensor, and accelerometer can all be transformed so that when a performer runs their finger across the display, blows air into the mic, tilts or shakes the phone, for example, different sounds emanate.
    Although the concert will likely appear to be a seamless effort, coordinating the diversity of students with the diversity of "instrument sounds" produced by each iPhone has reportedly proven a massive undertaking for the educators and students who have modified their iPhones into full-blown musical instruments.

    In the history of music, experimentation with electronic devices have led to the discovery and development of new instruments, like the synthesizer and theremin. Could the iPhone be the newest acquisition of the world's finest orchestras? From the looks of things pretty soon there could be an app for that.

    “The mobile phone is a very nice platform for exploring new forms of musical performance," Essl said. "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."
    Image from 9to5Mac
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