With so many innovations being made in the field of digital music production, it can be easy to forget that the sounds many of us manipulate for fun still have a basis in real instruments, the learning of which immeasurably benefits thousands, maybe millions, of people around the world every day in unexpected ways. Sadly, funding for music education in public schools has been under attack for years, and even when kids do learn music in a band at school, they might have only limited opportunities to practice at home or just freely play with the concepts of tone and touch. Enter the Tingle, a small suspended pinboard that may look familiar but provides an unexpected effect when played with in the conventional way: each pin produces its own gradated tone, so pressing multiple ones at once (as a hand or a typical finger would do) creates a chord.
“A side problem is that musical instruments have stayed the same for decades,” the designers at the studio that produced Tingle, Nupky, note on their website. “Any explorations into new musical instruments either became run-offs on older instruments (piano-like instruments) or abstract art installations (footballs that create buzzy clicks when spun). With Tingle, the aim was to make a musical instrument of the 21st century that had a character to its own.” The original version of Tingle, which was displayed at Dutch Design Week ’12, worked with a webcam, but the instrument has been recently simplified to work without one. Hopefully a production model will soon bring joy to the masses. Check out the video below to see it in action.