The Technology of Music

Ancient Chinese Instrument Plays Mario Bros. Theme

ThreeQuarter_ShengWhen you actually start looking back through some of the more obscure bits of history, it really is astonishing how many things that we think of as fairly modern, have actually been around for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese, for instance, had a pretty good grasp on the workings of the cosmos, were able to do some remarkable things with gunpowder, and played Super Mario Brothers.

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The Technology of Music

Get In The Holiday Spirit!

Piano Guys

If you’ve never heard of The Piano Guys, let me introduce you. Hit the jump to see some incredible musical talent, as well as some up close shots of how a piano works. Well, maybe they don’t quite use it in the traditional sense…

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The Technology of Music

Drone Wars: Playing The Pipes

Hendrick ter Brugghen’s oil painting called “Bagpipe Player” seems to focus on the drones — the two pipes resting on the piper’s shoulder. When you hear the melodic and often melancholic tones of the bagpipe, you’ll hear the melody being played over one or more constant harmonizing notes. Those two pipes produce that […]

The Technology of Music

Volta Sound Block

We try not to be too commercial on the pages of Atomic Toasters. However, when a product comes along that strikes our fancy we aren’t afraid to share it with you. One such product is the Volta Sound Block from Volta Sound Co. Named after Alexander Graham Bell’s Volta Labs, Volta Sound’s proprietors […]

The Technology of Music

L.E.D. Zeppelin

Their capacity for great music is unparalleled.

[Image Credit: Annika O’Brien]

The Technology of Music

Let’s Make Mew-sic Together

The worlds of science and music overlap in many ways. Sometimes an idea comes along that melds the 2 in fascinating ways, and the katzenklavier is just such an idea. This cat ‘organ’ or ‘piano’ consists of a collection of cats, very carefully organized in a line by the tone of their mews. The tails of the cats in question are stretched out under a keyboard so that when the key is depressed, the tail is struck, and the desired note emanates promptly from the kitty.

Why would such a thing be conceived as a good idea? Hit the jump and let’s see!

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The Technology of Music

Electric Guitars

Turn it up!

Take 2 Tesla coils, add one modulating interface and mix it with a classic southern-rock soundtrack, and you have the makings for one HELL of a backyard BBQ.

“Hey yall, watch this…”

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Startup, The Technology of Music

Startup: A Weekend Project

Ten points to anyone who can reverse-engineer it just from that photo.

I’ve bought more than my fair share of small, portable laptop speakers and miniature sound systems over the years. Particularly back when Cardboard and I were beach bums as much as possible — gotta go where the scantily-clad ladies are, right? — it was nice to have something portable to provide a bit of sound while relaxing on the beach, trying not to get whiplash.

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The Technology of Music

Oompa: The Accordion Turns 181


While the accordion may have actually been invented earlier, the patent wasn’t released until 1830 to Cyrill Demian in Vienna. From then on, the accordion would find its way into folk music across the globe.
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Deconstructing Technology, The Technology of Music

A Brief History of Music Delivery

Round is apparently best for music.

I was cleaning up my basement when I realized that I have almost all the forms of music delivery that have ever been present in one place.  Let me expand that thought.

It started with just music.  We beat on logs, later skins with a group of […]