Can’t Afford Real Instruments? Try the Imaginary Marching Band

Each day of our lives we interact with technology that lets us instantly communicate with others, quickly access information or simply make our lives a bit more convenient. With every massive leap forward we make in each of these sectors, however, we seem to forget the real reason why the human race works so hard to forge innovative new solutions. That is, of course, finally fulfilling the dream of being able to wave our hands around like maniacs to summon a marching band.

Scott Peterman’s Imaginary Marching Band is, within that (obviously correct) viewpoint, the most important development of the 21st century. And looky here — it has a Kickstarter page.


Peterman’s Marching Band is an open-sourced project that allows users to emulate the sound of various instruments with pantomimed gestures. Through a number of gloves kitted out with MIDI-producing sensors and USB output points, Imaginary Marching Band is currently capable of reproducing a selection of common instruments (tuba, trombone, bass or snare drum and cymbals).

The technology is capable of aiding in the creation of actual music in (on?) the hands of musicians and can be fed into a variety of production/editing software tools (like GarageBand, Logic and Pro Tools), making it much more than just idle amusement. Since Imaginary Marching Band is open-source (all discoveries and research results have been public domain) it’s also a tool that can be experimented with in any number of ways by any number of interested parties.

Peterman’s vision is one that can go a long way toward, not just innovating with electronic sound, but also in the democratization of musicianship itself.

While we’re accustomed to a wide range of practical, technological tools that make previously impossible tasks possible, the playing and writing of music still remains something that requires a significant time investment to explore. Imaginary Marching Band, the embryo of what could be a revolutionary mixture of tech and music, represents a new way to consider how we interact with instruments. And that’s something worth supporting.

Although prototype models exist, actually making more of the hardware — and getting the word out about the technology — is where the project gets tricky. That’s why Peterman is requesting donations through Kickstarter. Any money raised for Imaginary Marching Band goes toward funding the creation of further gloves along with providing assistance in searching out new methods for developing more Imaginary instruments. Scott Peterman is also hoping to debut his invention in New York and Europe this fall and hopes to use some of the money for backing this push for public visibility.

Rewards for donations are, appropriately, geared toward the sort of people that will be drawn to the project in the first place. These range from simple fare like DIY creation videos or a package containing necessary hardware and instructions to being sent actual Imaginary instruments (fully constructed and ready to use).

To learn more about Imaginary Marching Band check out the Kickstarter page, visit the official website, follow Scott Peterman on Twitter or visit his homepage. The project will be funded on Wednesday, June 8th at 11.18am EST (if the goal of $10,000 is met) so head to Kickstarter and toss a few bucks over to help out.