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Möbius music box – cool DIY alert

Submitted by on May 22, 2009 – 10:36 am 7 Comments

Ranjit Bhatnagar works with interactive sound installations and has exhibited in Berkeley, Belgium, Queens, New York and Brooklyn.  He recently taught “Mister Resistor” at Parsons School of Design, a studio course and rock band with homemade instruments.

In fact, he’s quite accomplished at making DIY homemade instruments, and h;s made one that I find particularly fascinating: the Möbius music box.

The Möbius Strip, or Möbius Band (not to be confused with these guys) was named after August Ferdinand Möbius, a nineteenth century German mathematician and astronomer, who was a pioneer in the field of topology. Möbius helped create a little bit of a revolution in geometry – think of him as the Jimi Hendrix of Topology.

Of course we all know what a Möbius stip is all about: take a strip of paper, give it a single twist and join the two ends together. This produces a curious surface with only one side and one edge.

Ranjit has taken this concept and used it to create a pretty interesting musical instrument.   It’s a music box that uses a Möbius strip as it’s source of notes.  What you end up with is a tune that is played upside-down and backwards, and then just backwards, and then upside-down and backwards again. Over and over, forever.

It sounds like this:

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Pretty creative, don’t you think?  Maybe his next one will use a Klein bottle.  Here’s a video of it in action, bonus points if you recognize the tune:

You can visit Ranjit’s site here, and you can actually make one yourself with this kit.

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  • music box

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