Ro-Bow Is a Violin-Playing Robot That Actually Sounds Pretty Good 

Described as a kinetic sculpture, Ro-Bow (as the name suggests) is a violin-playing robot that uses electromagnetic actuators to play digital files. Yeah, it won't be the first chair at the London Philharmonic any time soon, but its pretty amazing to watch all the machine's parts work in unison to produce some pretty… » 2/22/15 1:13pm 2/22/15 1:13pm

Starbucks Is Quitting CDs, and So Am I

Nearly two years ago, I bought a CD while waiting for a bucket-sized iced coffee, sweet with a splash of whole milk. It wasn't a long wait, but it was long enough for me to spot the new Vampire Weekend album, remember I'd pirated their first two and hand my Starbucks gift card back to the barista. "I'll also take » 2/20/15 3:30pm 2/20/15 3:30pm

The Origin of Joy Division's Most Famous Album Cover, Finally Revealed

The cover of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures is famously graced with the radio pulses of a dying star. Its origins, however, have always been unclear. But now, Scientific American's Jen Christiansen has followed the rabbit hole to the very end—to an obscure 1970 PhD astronomy thesis and the guy who wrote it. » 2/18/15 5:50pm 2/18/15 5:50pm

Video: The incredible skill of hand making a guitar out of wood

I don't know what I'm most impressed with in this video of a guitar being made by hand: Eitan's Bartel absolute love for the instrument he makes, the perfect measurements needed to craft one of his guitars, the unbelievable skill and precision required in each step, the shots of woodworking, the imagination of smell.… » 2/18/15 1:24am 2/18/15 1:24am

Apple Hires BBC DJ Zane Lowe to Work on Beats Streaming Service

BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe has announced that he's leaving his job at the station. That normally wouldn't concern us, but it's where he's headed to next that's caught our attention — Cupertino, into the open arms of Apple, where he's expected to play an integral role in the formation of Apple's Beats-powered streaming… » 2/15/15 11:30am 2/15/15 11:30am

These Are the Songs You Have Sex to, According to Spotify

Music for the bedroom is no longer a case of slipping Barry White onto your vinyl player and leaning in to your loved on. More likely, it means firing up a cloud-based playlist and routing it through your Bluetooth speaker. So, perhaps, unsurprisingly, Spotify knows exactly what you're listening to when you do the… » 2/13/15 5:47am 2/13/15 5:47am

The Man Behind Iconic Video Game Music Finally Made a Chiptunes Record

Keiji Yamagishi isn't a household name but if you were playing video games say, 25 years ago, you know the sound of his erratic musical madness. He's the composer behind the music in classic games like Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl, and Captain Tsubasa. Now he's finally released a record of his own. » 2/09/15 9:55am 2/09/15 9:55am

Study Finds Record Labels Take Most of the Streaming Money From Artists

Streaming music is controversial amongst many musicians who claim that they don't get a fair shake of the revenue that's being pulled in. A new study of the music industry by the French recording industry confirms suspicions that at least part of the reason artists are getting screwed is because labels are taking all… » 2/05/15 2:25pm 2/05/15 2:25pm

Identify Songs Without Shazam by Using Google Now

There are plenty of apps for identifying music while you're listening to it, but you might not know that the same functionality is built into Google Now as well—it's just one of the many features available inside Google's digital assistant that aren't immediately obvious to the casual user. If you hear a tune you… » 1/28/15 10:26am 1/28/15 10:26am

Finally a Movie Shows How French Electronic Music Is More Than Vocoders

Thanks to Daft Punk, the 1990s French "touch" electronic music scene has its legendary figures, masks and vocoder robot voices and button pushing and all. We've got the sound and look, but seriously, we're missing a little fiction to glorify the music's rise into one of the more influential electronic music movements… » 1/26/15 11:40am 1/26/15 11:40am

Here's What Embroidery Patterns Sound Like Played Through a Music Box

If you step back and compare the two, the intricate patterns you'll find in a detailed folk embroidery don't look that much different than the series of punched holes you'll find on the scrolling scores used in a traditional hand-cranked music box. Artists Zsanett Szirmay and Bálint Tárkány-Kovács saw the same… » 1/20/15 2:20pm 1/20/15 2:20pm