The subway never sounded so good

Reader [Philippe] tipped us off about this video showing a set of subway steps being turned into a piano keyboard (english translation). The creators wanted to make taking the stairs rather than riding the escalator a bit more fun. They added pressure sensors to each step, then covered them with white and black keys to resemble a keyboard. When a passenger puts their weight on a step, the corresponding pitch is played out loud.

We may have lied in the title as this doesn’t really compare to hearing Josh Bell play for pocket change at your train stop. But coming across this setup on an otherwise mundane commute would really brighten up our day.


  1. Nextuz says:

    Thats a nice comercial for contest about the “fun”theori… =)

    here they have thw deepest garbagecan in the world..

  2. Nextuz says:

    ohh.. sorry.. more info..

    Its a contest about making it more fun to care about our invirement.. =)

  3. Blah says:

    Boston Museum of Science has had this for almost two decades on the staircase next to the Omnitheater (aka Omnimax.)

  4. Jack says:

    Wouldn’t this just make it more.. annoying to go down the stairs? Imagine a cat walking across a piano, now imagine 40 cats walking across a giant piano…

  5. evilncarnate says:

    “The creators wanted to make taking the stairs rather than riding the escalator a bit more fun”

    Commas, you know the period with a tail, they really do help comprehension.

  6. Hackius says:

    It would be infuriating at rush hour

  7. japkin says:

    With my luck, I’d get stuck behind the kid who wanted to “play on the stairs because they make music!”

  8. M4CGYV3R says:

    Five…..five dollar…..five dollar FOOTLONG!

  9. M4CGYV3R says:

    But seriously, I wish we could do fun stuff like this in the states. It’s unfortunate that if we did, there would probably be one or more bums there trying to charge to use it or cops there saying how all the wires and switches make it “suspicious to homeland security” and it’s got to go. Or you’d be sued for someone “tripping”(read purposely falling) on your project.

  10. Jack says:

    This video really made me smile. They turned a boring place into a moment of fun.

  11. vikki says:

    I love how people are using the stairs instead of escalators. way to get people to exercise.

  12. Jikki says:

    I want to see a group of people playing some Bach on it, like a hand-bell choir or something. =D

  13. Jesus says:

    Maybe if they wrote some sort of chording stuff engineered for chromatic scales, they might get people to play more elaborate stuff as they walk up the steps(but would still sound horrible in large groups most likely).

  14. roshamboe says:


  15. Sammy says:

    This is great. Really Cool

  16. jamdis says:

    If people get to say that “If it has an arduino on it it’s not a hack,” then I get to say “If it has the logo of a major car company on it it’s not a hack.”


  17. Doug says:

    The trash can prank reminds me of the joke about the supposed outhouse prank. Where a recording asks a woman who just sat down to move to the other seat because he was working down there.

  18. Imos says:

    This is good idea) Piano stairs)

  19. Sigg3 says:

    The point of it was to see if more people would use the stairs if they were funnier. As the video says, 66% more people chose to use the stairs.


  20. greenyooper says:

    Thank you for the link to the Joshua Bell article – that was facinating

  21. greenyooper says:

    oops… “fascinating”

  22. poot says:

    We should have this in every major city in the US…then our fat fellow Americans can finally lose some weight

  23. XBox Hacker says:

    Haha nice I would like this in my house.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,699 other followers