Mechanical musical sculpture reminiscent of the four muses

Music is created by humans, but often we find ourselves in creating performances with machines. [Alana Balagot] and [Federico Tobon] did just that by constructing the amazing 4 Muse musical sculpture with their combined talents.

4 Muses consists of four individual instruments under the command of a single keyboard controller. The keyboard can be used to play the instruments live, or alternatively it can be learned by the player or used as a sequencer. It can also act as a simple device for playing music using the four instruments.

The pipe instrument uses servo-controlled valves, which allow air from a fan to reach several wooden pipes. The xylophone instead uses solenoids to play its 13 teeth. Percussion is provided by a mechanized cajón drum that uses motors to activate hammers that hit the various sections of the box. Meanwhile, hackers will be familiar with the concept of the engine noise instrument, which drives stepper motors at different frequencies to generate tones.

Inside, a cavalcade of microcontrollers makes everything work, from Arduino Megas and Teensys to NRF24s sending wireless packets from the controller to the instruments. [Alana] and [Federico] go in depth with their documentation, highlight the challenges they faced in putting together the different instruments and show how the final construction came together.

Built with brass fittings and with a range of exquisite wood finishes, the end result is a quartet of machines playing beautiful music composed by [Alana] herself. Musical sculptures are often a good example of the artistic that is possible when putting electrons into work. Video after the break.

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