This Mug Is a Musical Instrument

March 19, 2014 | Andy Cush

For her midterm project in an electronic music class, Princeton student Bonnie E created Mug Music, a hack that turns a cup full of water into a working electronic instrument. Touché, a touch sensor created by Disney hangs in the water, so that when you dip your fingers in or otherwise move the liquid around, it begins sending a signal that’s ultimately interpreted as musical data. It travels over MIDI, so there’s no reason Mug Music couldn’t make a wide range of sounds beyond the serene, consonant tones heard in the demo video above. If you’re up to the challenge, here’s a tutorial on how to work with Touché.