Someone made a violin out of a laptop – and it sounds just lovely

21 December 2017, 13:55

All you need is a synthesiser, a violin bow and this MacBook Bow (pun credit goes to Koka the violinist) – and BAM, you’ve got yourself a cheap-ish violin.

Koka is a musician, who really wanted to convince a renowned musicologist (mentioning no names*) that a laptop could double up as a musical instrument.

In this clip, Koka attaches the MacBook Bow to his laptop. The device works a bit like an optical sensor by recognising the speed, direction and pressure of a bow.

He bows the tune of Saint-Saens’ ‘The Swan’ onto the device, and the sound is produced by a Minimoog synthesiser. It sounds a bit like a theremin, and it’s rather lovely.

Minimoog synthesizerMinimoog synthesizer © eBay

Koka says: “I witnessed several occasions where students were withdrawn from entrance examinations because they provided laptop as their primary instrument.

“I remember confronting an influential musicologist in Germany, who said that you cannot receive your email on a musical instrument and therefore — laptop is NOT a musical instrument. Oh yes it is! And not only because of how it’s used in this video. This is just a trivial example. Computer can be one of the most powerful and complex musical instruments in the world [sic].”

“After this example I’m making a bassoon, which will somehow receive and display email. I guess then I’ll convince him.” 

Koka Nikoladze plays the Minimoog, with Tatia Chikovani on keys. Find Koka on Facebook for more videos.

Now, here’s a piece of Rachmaninov for piano and theremin...

*we don’t know his name.