Step to the Music
Keith Durand can play Mahler’s Third Symphony with his feet.
A while back, the fraternity brothers at Tau Epsilon Phi built a musical staircase that plays a different piano key for each step. Some students can play songs by jumping up and down several steps at a time to hit the right notes.
Students equipped each step with a break-beam sensor that’s wired to a controller circuit, then they reverse-engineered an old keyboard to provide the sound of 99 instruments, including a French horn, violin, and flute.
The staircase connects the house’s second and third floors and includes roughly two-and-a-half octaves, or about 20 steps.
“You can play almost anything,” Durand says, “but the trick is to play without pulling a hamstring.”