Mug Music Is Good to the Last Drop

[Bonnie] is majoring in CS at Princeton and minoring in Awesome. She is taking an electronic music class and had to produce a digital instrument for her midterm project. She and her friend [Harvest] came up with Mug Music, which turns a ceramic mug of water into an instrument.

The circuit is very easy to replicate with an Arduino, a coil, and a few resistors and capacitors. [Bonnie] wanted to experiment with Disney Research Lab’s Touché method of touch detection, and Mug Music is based on this Touché for Arduino Instructable. The inputs are turned into MIDI notes with ChucK, a real-time sound synthesis language developed at Princeton.

As you may have guessed and will see in the demonstration video after the jump, you aren’t limited to touching the water. The entire mug will produce sounds as well. [Bonnie] says you can trigger a thunderclap if you touch the water and a grounded surface simultaneously.

This would be a great project to explore with kids, especially as a music therapy vehicle for kids on the autism spectrum. It isn’t as physical as these portable musical stairs, but it may draw less attention from lawyers.

6 thoughts on “Mug Music Is Good to the Last Drop

  1. Ah, the mug’s an INPUT! That makes more sense, now I’ve thought it through. Shame though, the other way would have been awesome. I think water’s slightly diamagnetic enough that you could vibrate it with a great big coil.

    1. So you’re talking about a cup that sings? Hmm… How apt is that for a Disney plug? I’m sure the Teapot would be ok with it.

  2. Thanks everyone! Funny you should mention piano stairs, because that’s how I ended up on Hackaday last time. :)

    I should also mention that you can apply this with minimal modifications to any conductive surface (people, plants, etc) and I’d love to see other people give it a go!

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