All I Want For Mr. Christmas Is Some New Music

It’s true — you really can find anything (except maybe LEGO) in thrift stores. When [thecowgoesmoo] picked up a Mr. Christmas Symphonium music box one day, they knew they wanted to make it play more than just the standard Christmas and classical fare that ships with the thing.

So they did what any self-respecting hacker would do, and they wrote a MATLAB script that generates new disk silhouette images that they then cut from cardboard with a laser cutter. They also used various other materials like a disposable cutting mat. Really, whatever is lying around that’s stiff enough and able to be cut should work. You know you want to hear Van Halen’s “Jump” coming from a tinkling music box, don’t you? Be sure to check out the video demonstration after the break.

If you don’t want to wait around until a Mr. Christmas lands in your lap, why not make your own hand-cranked music box and accompanying scores?

7 thoughts on “All I Want For Mr. Christmas Is Some New Music

      1. Actually she has very little interest in the music box, I am the one with the interest in old mechanical things.

        One thing I forgot to mention is this also kind of reminded me of the way the cereal people put the records on the back of the boxes back when I was a kid.

  1. Cheez-it boxes are tough and dense not like most recycled paper cartons. Good choice.
    Not cheesy! I have parts and material in some going back decades, templates and patterns.

    I’ve oft wondered what laser cutting could do for perforated paper digital music. There were people that pirated “digital” copyrighted music a hundred years ago with a paper punch and a lot of time. You could write, plot, and punch your own tune out and hear it played not being able to play. Hack on.

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