Video Game Systems Sure Make Great Instruments

Musical instruments may be designed to produce a specific sound, but that doesn’t stop some musicians from using a single instrument to make all kinds of noises. For example, guitarist Phil Keaggy and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson use their instruments in incredibly creative ways. In my all-time favorite arrangement of Pachelbel’s Canon, Mr. Nelson strums his instrument like a banjo and beats it like a drum besides playing it as, you know, a cello.

Some clever musician on YouTube composed and performed some lovely music: smooth electronica backed by acoustic percussion. The only instruments used were three video game consoles: a Wii, an Xbox 360, and a PS3. The song is titled “Console Wars.” Of course.

I’m amazed at how a coherent melody, let alone such a charming one, could be arranged from the beeps of systems powering on, the jingles of menu screens, the clicks of analogue sticks, and the soft thumps of hands hitting plastic.

I like video game music, and I’ve shared a lot of it. This song isn’t like any I’ve ever heard. I wonder what other everyday objects could be used as instruments….

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