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.

23 thoughts on “The subway never sounded so good

  1. 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…

  2. “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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.”

    pbbbbt

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    Brilliant.

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