DrumTop: Playing with Everyday Objects

van Troyer, Akito

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We introduce a prototype of a new tangible step sequencerthat transforms everyday objects into percussive musicalinstruments. DrumTop adapts our everyday task-orientedhand gestures with everyday objects as the basis of musicalinteraction, resulting in an easily graspable musical interfacefor musical novices. The sound, tactile, and visual feedbackcomes directly from everyday objects as the players programdrum patterns and rearrange the objects on the tabletopinterface. DrumTop encourages the players to explore themusical potentiality of their surroundings and be musicallycreative through rhythmic interactions with everyday objects. The interface consists of transducers that trigger ahit, causing the objects themselves to produce sound whenthey are in close contact with the transducers. We discusshow we designed and implemented our current DrumTopprototype and describe how players interact with the interface. We then highlight the players’ experience with Drumtop and our plans for future work in the fields of musiceducation and performance.