Engineering can be complex and difficult to understand but music is a universal language that can reach all audiences. The music machine is a public relations project with the purpose of attracting and entertaining an audience. The device plays and displays fun elements such as colorful lights, whimsical moving parts, motion triggered actions and musical instruments which will play and move in time with our song.
The various entertaining elements also represent the main branches of engineering. For example, light towers which look like buildings represent civil engineering, while the lights themselves represent electrical engineering.
Historic machines were an inspiration for many parts of this project. For example, calliopes were loud machines used by circuses to draw crowds, just as we want our device to draw crowds. To keep the crowd engaged, our machine will play well-known music. Specifically, our machine will play excerpts from the FAMU and FSU alma maters. This machine is also designed to inspire young people to take part in science, technology, engineering and math career paths.
Another source of inspiration for our music machine includes music boxes, which have also delighted people for ages. We are using the core of a music box—the music roll—to play notes on an electronic keyboard. Our machine will also have new electric versions of some classic percussion elements, such as drums and cymbals. Marbles and other moving parts will play these instruments while also providing fun visuals. Electronic instruments also provide the option to use the sounds of instruments that are cumbersome or immobile. With a variety of music and visuals, our machine aims to engage audiences from all walks of life and showcase the fun side of engineering.