Press Coverage

“Tod Machover may have composed more ambitious music than “Toy Symphony,” but he will never engage in a more important project.” – The Boston Globe

NPR – Visionaries: Tod Machover – “Music is such a powerful personal experience…but it’s usually not a creative relationship…”

EdSurge News – How Music Technology Helped My Students Tap Into Their Creativity. Music teacher David Casali wondered how to reignite an interest in music among students who had decided they were not musical. He tried an experiment, asking them to compose music for a video game, using Hyperscore.

After the students were done with the game, I checked the results, and admittedly, I was shocked: Hyperscore had removed the barriers for students. Their creativity was no longer held back by their command of music notation or ability to perform on an instrument. They could explore musical ideas and make changes to the notes in real time. Students whose musical voices had been silent began to bloom, and having the chance to write music to fit a game thrilled them.

Musical Toronto – Toronto school children become engaged composers in Toronto Symphony experiment Music blogger John Terauds writes, “I have to admit that the ease with which the user becomes a creator worries me, because it feels too easy. Part of me considers this to be a form of pseudo creation, that only the careful application of pencil (and eraser) to notation paper is real creation.” But the results have convinced him otherwise:

These children, many of whom I’m sure haven’t had any lessons music theory, were truly and fully engaged with the act of creating music.

Isn’t that what we all dream of?

The fact that their work will eventually find itself performed on the stage of Roy Thomson Hall seems almost superfluous after this amazing accomplishment.

Interview with Tod Machover in Swedish design journal LOFT (pdf)

New York Times – ARTS ONLINE; From a Few Colored Lines Come the Sounds of Music “‘There seems to be a deeply embedded sense that you have to learn a lot before you can write music,” [Machover] said. So he set out to create software that would convert expressive gestures — lines, patterns, textures and colors — made on the screen into pleasing and variable sounds. The goal, he said, is to let children have ”the direct experience of translating their own thoughts and feelings into music.”
”Then music becomes a living, personal activity, and not a given which is handed down from experts or from history.”

Technology Review – Toy Symphony Maestro  “The group hopes to introduce children to complex and subtle aspects of playing music that usually take years to learn on traditional instruments. Machover is driven by the belief that music has become background noise in most people’s lives. Through the toys, Machover says, he’s “basically trying to say, Look, if you like music, it will be a much more powerful experience if you just get in there and experiment with it, take it apart, put it back together, make it yourself.’”

This Scientific American Frontiers episode hosted by actor Alan Alda features  composer Tod Machover and the MIT Media Lab working on the ambitious Toy Symphony project, which gave birth to Hyperscore. Renowned violinist Joshua Bell makes an appearance.

Complete list of press coverage of “Toy Symphony” project

Frames, January 2004
Fisher-Price to release Hyperscore-based toy

Reforma, 10 February 2004
Crean por accidente ‘software’ musical

Orlando Business Journal, 12 February 2004
Film festival to host Toy Symphony performance

Reforma, 5 February 2004
Alegra música de niños apertura del Domo Digital

Reforma, 27 December 2004
Crean niños música con método digital

MIT Technology Review, October 2003
Toy Symphony Maestro: Children need no experience to play music with these toys

Spectrum, Summer 2003
Toy Symphony: Striking a chord with kids

The New York Times, 3 June 2003
Playing Music as a Toy, and a Toy as Music

Boston Globe, 28 April 2003
‘Toy’ brings joy of music to life

Boston Globe, 24 April 2003
Toying with Music

Boston Globe, 24 April 2003
Musical inventions help kids create a ‘Toy’ story

The Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2003
With Gadgets and Fun, Toy Symphony Lures Kids

The New York Times, 20 May 2003
Toys Take Little Ears On Trips In Sound

NPR “All Things Considered,” 17 May 2003
An MIT Prof’s Toy Symphony Project (radio)

The New York Times, 16 May 2003
Family Fare

WNYC radio broadcast, 14 May 2003
New Sounds

Newsday, 11 May 2003
The Sounds of Play

Newsday, 11 May 2003
Composing Program Scores Points

Christan Science Monitor, 29 April 2003
A digital approach to music may broaden range of interests

NewMusicBox, 24 April 2003
Putting the fun back in playing: Toy Symphony comes to US

MIT News, 24 April 2003
Toy Symphony to have U.S. premiere April 26 at MIT

Plan Newsletter, MIT School of Architecture and Planning, April 2003
Toy Symphony Comes to Town

Christian Science Monitor, 28 February 2003
High notes go high tech

San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD, 11 December 2002
SDSC Brings Renowned Ying String Quartet Together with Aspiring Composers

Wired, 30 July 2002
Toying With Musical Instruments

TechTV broadcast, 5 June 2002
Tech Toys Teach Music (26.2MB QuickTime)

TechTV, 5 June 2002
Tech Toys Teach Music (article)

BBC Radio4, 30 May 2002
New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference Text article — Broadcast

The New York Times, 27 May 2002
From a Few Colored Lines Come the Sounds of Music

Blue Peter broadcast, 22 May 2002
Toy Symphony: Beatbugs and Hyperscore (41.2MB QuickTime)

Australian Broadcasting Co., 20 May 2002
Toy Symphony

Zeitschrift für Neue Musik, April 2002
Interaktion, Moderation und andere Kinderspiele

RTE Interactive, 9 April 2002
Professor Conducting Musical Experiment for Underprivileged Kids

BBC News, 15 April 2002
Radio Report of Dublin Concert (segment from 8’40” to 20’20”)

RTE’s Rattlebag, April 2002
Audio Report of Dublin Concert (11.9MB MP3)

Lyric FM, April 2002
Irish Radio Interview of Tod Machover

BBC News, 16 April 2002
Hi-Tech Musical Youth

BBC News, April 2002
E-Strings for the Future Musician

The Irish Times, 1 April 2002
The Hyper-Composer

Fono Forum, March 2002
Spielend Komponieren

Empower kids to tell their stories through music.

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