Making music but use with caution

I learned the hard way that this concept was a really dumb idea for my classroom.

Really dumb.

In the computer science classroom, you’re always looking for ideas for new problems for students requiring a computer solution.  So, this idea seemed like genius.  I would have the students write a program that would turn the regular keyboard into an organ.  The concept was relatively simple – the students would scan the keyboard and assign a tone to each key.  Those with a music slant quickly became the go-to person in the class as students fine tuned the sounds coming from the computer.

My concept was just to make some music and there was a bunch of technical things that the students had to do by reaching directly out to the hardware of the computer.

I’ll have to admit; they were engaged in the project like I hoped.

I expected “noise/music”.  Where my plan fell apart happened when they all played their masterpieces at the same time.  It didn’t take long to realize that this truly was a bad idea.  And what can you do?  I was the person who assigned the project.  Fortunately, time marched on and their interests turned to other things but I still remember the tunes lingering for a while!  I never played the clown again by asking the music teacher if it wouldn’t be easier to have all the students play the same song.

A group even thought that they would record songs and it had the net result of some pretty fancy planning.  They had to know the notes assigned to the keys and then write them down on paper before entering them via the keyboard, to record, and then playback.

So, all these memories came flooding back when I discovered and played around with Typatone.

At its simplest, just type your text in the open area.  Or you can use the keyboard.  Or you can download the app.  Or you can use the buttons over the keyboard to do some additional things including sharing your masterpiece to social media.  Support and additional ideas can be found on Facebook.

So, give it a shot.  Does your name sound as melodic as mine does?

Are you ready to share the site with a class full of students?

Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at:

2 thoughts on “Making music but use with caution

  1. This reminds me of a project that was done a couple of times in my systems classes. The kids did raw socket programming in C. A couple of times, groups had the idea of “the distributed orchestra.”

    One computer was the conductor and synchronized things, the others, the players, each would play one note at a time on that little tin speaker that was (is?) in old PCs.

    Great idea, great project, and due to latency etc, hilarious results.

    I can only describe the sound as PC speakers meet 7th grade band.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. This reminds me of this year when I took out a class set of recorders (that our music teacher let us borrow) along with our water table — just to wash them so that we could use them together. Well, the children didn’t stop at washing them, and pretty soon, 24 recorders were being played in 24 different ways. Granted, we were outside, but even the music teacher mentioned to me that he heard us clearly in his third floor classroom. 🙂 I wonder if some headphones would at least make this computer program option a better one. As for the recorders, well, I might just have to consider ear plugs. 🙂



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