Hands on Music

Our project, Hand on Music, is a music glove. It’s important to start defining our Music Glove as an innovative musical instrument. We wanted to create something able to produce music in a fun and magical way, to surprise and amaze everyone that would eventually interact with this project.

At the beginning of the project, our main purpose was to have fun while playing with music and to learn more about electronics and programming. Later, once we finished the last prototype, we thought about another goal we could reach: using our project for physical rehabilitation. Speaking with knowledgeable people, we ascertained our project could be used in the medical field regarding psychological rehabilitation, ergo we’re working to create something to reach this goal.

Hand on Music is a glove on which we applied one flex sensor per finger for a total of 5 sensors. These types of sensors measure the bending angle of our fingers producing a sound whenever we flex our finger more than a certain value that we are able to decide. The project is based on a simple circuit, the positive cable of each flex-sensor have to be connected directly to the Arduino 5V port while the negative must be conducted both to the pin corresponding to the sensor and to the ground. We decided to put the Arduino and breadboard on an armband so that the project can be easily worn and moved.

To build the structure we have taken into account some points that must be respected for the whole apparatus to work properly, namely:

  • The structure must be easily wearable;
  • The structure must be autonomous and not tied to non-portable instruments or that would limit its movement;
  • The cables that make up the structure must be flexed or tied between them in such a way as not to hinder movement;
  • The structure must be adjustable and adaptable from person to person.


  • Work glove made of fabric
  • Needles, threads and patches
  • Cables (more or less thick) and Arduino connection cables Armband
  • Speakers
  • Arduino and breadboard
  • Arduino music extension (music shield)
  • Insulating tape
  • Flex sensors
  • Resistors

Step 1: Testing the Sensors

Firstly, it is important to test the flex sensors.

Once their functioning has been ascertained it’s necessary to test the circuit as well. Our instrument is based, as said in the introduction, on a simple circuit: the positive cable of each flex-sensor connected to the Arduino 5V port while the negative conducted both to the pin corresponding to the sensor and through a sensor to ground (Check the Tinkercad circuit and reply it on your board).

As for the program we have used a previously written code that can be used to control the musical extension (Musical Instrument Shield) that goes on the Arduino.

The logic of the program is very simple: when the input signal, received by the Arduino board through the analog port, exceeds a set value the note-On function allows the production of the note. The notes to be used can be inserted in the note-Value array, while the chosen instrument can be associated with the instrument variable. (It is good to specify that the value of these variables must be integers. The note-number correspondence is easily acquired from the web).

We’ll attach the Arduino file with our program.

Step 2: Soldering the Wires to the Flex Sensors

  • There is not a specific type of wires needed to be used
  • There have to be two wires per sensor (one soldered to the positive pin and one to the negative)
  • The length has to be decided based on where the Arduino is planned to be placed (wrist, forearm, upper arm)
  • To have fewer wires swinging around is advisable to twist the two wires of each sensor one with the other It is necessary to put a little piece of insulating tape on the soldered parts so that they do not touch each other, protecting the connections
  • To make it even more still it’s useful to put a little piece of tape on the ends to keep the two wires together

Step 3: Making of the Actual Glove

  • It can be used every type of glove as long as it’s thick enough to sew on it
  • It is necessary to create on the back of each finger a sort of “hood” of cloth inside which the flex sensors will be positioned
  • Once assembled, everything must be flexed to the glove with needle and threads.

Step 4: Connect the Glove to the Arduino

  • Since there are various wires, it is better to braid them so that they all converge tidily on the mini- breadboard
  • After that, the circuit has to be closed by connecting the mini-breadboard to the Arduino

Step 5: Play Some Music!

Set the instrument you prefer as well as the notes you prefer and enjoy your brand new instrument!

Here’s the previous prototype: