A two-piece accordion with haptic and aural interactions.


Research | Concept | Product

Arduino | Ableton | Processing

Sound Design | Composition

Special thanks to:

Bill Verplank

David Gauthier

Jakob Bak




Concertina is the result of a three-day project to design haptic and aural interactions in a two-player musical instrument. The team was inspired by the analog era of music making and chose to reimagined a traditional musical instrument – the accordion – through the use of motorized haptic technologies. 

Two players can create their own music by each pressing one side of the Concertina. The players experience subtle resistance, which mimics that of traditional accordion bellows. If both players play in sync they are led through a series of “musical terrains” in which they can feel the shape of the type of sound waves the instrument is playing (Sine, Saw, Square, Triangle). The pitch of the note also depends on the pressure and speed at which each side is pressed. 



The Concertina is controlled with a Teensy and the custom Motors & Music PCB. As each player squeezes the instrument, the velocity is recorded and a motorized slider relays haptic feedback to the user. These interactions rely on basic principles and concepts underpinning haptic technologies (control theory, cybernetics, “feedback loops”). The prototype has been made using Ableton and Processing to play sounds. A simple servomechanisms is controlled via Arduino. 


Project Details:

Completed in 3 days in May 2015 as part of the Motors & Music course at CIID. The project was made together with Chelsey Wickmark and Riccardo Cereser