29. October 2007

Bangarama – Using Headbanging as Musical Instrument


Illustration from an article about Bangarama

“Headbanging” describes a way in that rock music enthusiasts consume music not only passively, but strive to gain a more intense musical experience through rhythm-abiding nodding and shaking of their heads.
(Laszlo Bardos, translated by me)

If headbanging is such an established instrument for enhanced musical experience, why not use it to create music in the first place?1

Laszlo Bardos and Stefan Korinek rose to the challenge and created Bangarama, an interface which uses the characteristic headbanging moves to trigger sounds. To enable the headbanger to play more than one tone, he/she can change the tone by means of sensors on a “guitar”.

The instrument is designed to be as easy to use as possible. The biggest challenge might be not to break down laughing while playing. ^_^

» Bangarama (including demo video *g*)

The tinkerers among you might be interested in the technology behind Bangarama. Especially the bang sensor is stunningly simple. The contacts on the guitar also impress by their simpleness (they are mainly based on tinfoil). The system is controlled by a Max/MSP patch.

The system is even descibed in detail in a scientific article: Laszlo Bardos, Stefan Korinek, Eric Lee, and Jan Borchers. Bangarama: Creating Music With Headbanging. In NIME 2005 International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, pages 180-183, Vancouver, Canada, May 2005. NIME.


1 A number of reasons comes to mind.

Topics: headbanginginteractivemusic

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