Music Squares

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This is was a tangible collaborative for playing musical games against computer, local, and remote participants. It consists of a “software that forms linear sound sequences” controlled by a simple on-screen interface and a tangible interface. The sound is created by stepping on a series of 16 large pads. Each pad has a light display inside and is clickable much like a large button. All the pads are connected together by a wireless sensor which transmits data back to a PC. There are also a series of 7 pads elevated to waste height which allow for control over the selection of games. Visible feedback is provided by both the pads and a projected display. Auditory feedback is provided by a series of speakers. Musical squares is designed for children but should appeal to participants of all ages.

The Games

Call and response
A series of sounds are played with increasing difficulty and the participant is required to play back the sounds in the correct sequence in order to be successful. The sound sequences are supported by visual feedback both on the squares and on the screen. These series of sounds could be melodic or not depending on the participant who input the melody. The computer version produces melodies that should be familiar to most. Playing the game is a test of memory, pitch recognition, and basic musicianship.

Call and response
A series of sounds are played with increasing difficulty and the participant is required to play back the sounds in the correct sequence in order to be successful. The sound sequences are supported by visual feedback both on the squares and on the screen. These series of sounds could be melodic or not depending on the participant who input the melody. The computer version produces melodies that should be familiar to most. Playing the game is a test of memory, pitch recognition, and basic musicianship. Variations: player against player, player against computer, player against remote player (via internet). The remote player utilises a graphical user interface.

Composition
Participants can interact with the musical squares creating their own musical compositions that can be played back and shared with others. Various games can stem from this as well. Since interacting with the squares is a physical activity people may be inclined to extend their melodies as much as possible.
Interacting with Musical Squares

All the pads consist of:
A switch mechanism inside the pad so that the participant can trigger the sounds.
A switch mechanism inside the pad that triggers a visual response.
Visual feedback in the form of colour light when the switch is pressed.
Visual feedback for playing the the sound sequence.
Light that provides automated visual feedback when in wait mode.