Glenn Gould’s classical music gesture app

18 September 2012, 12:40

The great pianist once had the idea that music would be created using gestures – and now a new app has made his dream a reality.

A new classical music app has realised the imaginings of piano star Glenn Gould, using gesture to create musical compositions. ‘Piano Invention’, a new app for iPhone and iPad, has permission from the late pianist’s estate to use his name as endorsement for their technology, which uses animated scenes to create music.

The app is loaded with some of the most popular piano music in the canon, including Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, Bach’s Prelude in C, and Debussy’s 'Girl with the Flaxen Hair' from Préludes. Each piece is represented by an animated graphic, which the user taps to activate.

By ringing bells, pressing pictures of quavers, or dragging leaves from trees (to name but a few), musicians of all ages can experiment with the motifs from the music, triggering chord sequences or loops from the original tune. Musical thought is rewarded, and users can create their own multi-track classical remix, while retaining the essence of the composer’s piece.

All the pieces can be shared and uploaded via Facebook and YouTube, where they are saved on a special channel celebrating what would have been the pianist’s 80th birthday. You can download the app from iTunes – send us your compositions!