A Thoroughly Modern Player Piano (Paperback)
Get ready to make an affordable 'modern player piano' from an Arduino computer and keyboard. This Fun and Intensive Do-it-Yourself STEM Building Project is designed to teach the basics of Music, Robots, Electronics and Computer Hardware and Software.
Player pianos were extremely popular 100 years ago, outselling both uprights and grand pianos. The pedals were pumped to generate the vacuum that depressed the keys. The brains of the piano were the paper rolls on which the music was recorded in holes punched in the paper. With today's technology, we can duplicate the player piano's music on a keyboard using mini-robots to activate the keys. For the brains we use a small but powerful Arduino microprocessor. This book shows how to construct the player piano using a Yamaha keyboard. It also provides the wiring charts to build a control box which connects the computer to the drivers and to the mini-robots. The software (called 'sketches' in Arduino-speak) which directs the computer to select and play the notes, is provided. Diagnostic software to check out the correct operation of the mini-robots is also provided. My goal is not just to describe an exciting project but mainly, it is to teach the basics of music, of simple robots as well as the operation of a small computer that controls the entire operation using a subset of the C++ programming language.
A good do-it-yourselfer should have no problem putting the player piano together with very few tools. I envision a father/daughter team or a group of high school students putting their heads together to resolve the wiring issues or the software coding for a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience.