The Glockentar combines a glockenspiel with a guitar.


Each time a string is plucked a glockenspiel bell is struck with a solenoid, and a beam of light is projected across the length of the string.



The light follows a logarithmic curve in terms of it’s speed as it goes up and down the string. It starts fast, pauses for a moment then goes back down the string.

The lights are essentially rectangles made in openFrameworks, then sent to MadMapper via Syphon.

In MadMapper they are then mapped to the strings.


An Arduino is used to turn the strings into switches. Each string acts as a ground, and electricity is sent to the pick. When a string is plucked with the pick the switch is closed and the solenoids and projections are triggered.


Here is the Arduino code:

Here is the OF code:

15 thoughts on “Glockentar

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  2. Amazing work! sounds incredible!

    I’ve been meaning to get into Arduino, just not got around to it yet. Thanks for sharing the code, it’s good to get an idea of how it all works.

    • Thanks Tom! Arduino isn’t too hard to learn, you can start with some of the examples that come with it and go a long ways. Definitely try it out.

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  11. Hello My name is Nick,

    I am currently in the University of Limerick in Ireland and preparing for a project. I want to use the guitar strings as switches to control visuals. I am a little confused as to how the strings are wired up if you could fill me in on this it would be a huge help ! thanks.

    • The strings all go to a digital input on the arduino, then current is going through the metal pick. When the pick touches one of the strings it closes the circuit (its a switch essentially).

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