Italian designers have literally made music out of pieces of paper

By Glenn Jackson
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Italian company MusicInk has designed a new set of tools that allow music to be made electronically using conductive paint on simple pieces of paper. Clearly, the future is here.

Conceived of as a way to teach children the basics of music, MusicInk uses a conductive paint (coincidentally, the same paint that made Calvin Harris’ “Humanthesizer” video possible), an Arduino box, and a smartphone app to make pieces of paper come to life as guitars, pianos, trumpets, and drums. Using stencils to draw the instruments onto paper, students can then attach the sheets to the Arduino box, which then feeds the signals to the app, and—almost magically—music is made. At the moment, what one can do with this technology is still in its early stages, but with a bit of imagination, you can quickly see the many possibilities that may come down the line. Who knows—maybe we’ll all be able to simply make our own MIDI controllers using cardboard. To help fuel your speculation, you can watch a video of school children setting up and interacting with the MusicInk paper-music kit below, and get more info on the nuts and bolts of the process over on Wired.