players.png ~3-?
time.png 3 min

Scratch Orchestra's hand-cuff rite.


Find soft strings of about half meter long (have one for every player). On both ends make loops of the size that lets you put the hand through and doesn't leave much space around it. The loop should not tighten itself when the string is pulled (see: Bowline).


Take the amount of strings equal to number of players participating and let every player put his/her hands through the loops of two different strings before just taking the instrument.

Gameplay instructions

Each player makes sounds only when attached to two other players by strings (about a foot long) tied to the wrists.

Game end

Not specified in the rite, but you might try to set an aim in the game for everyone to peacefully get free. Without stopping the playing and without any disturbance for your rope-mates, you need to get rid of your ropes, starting when you think you have enough music of this kind.



This is one of the Improvisational Rites of Scratch Orchestra from 1969.
Attributed to Chris May (full notes).

Editor's notes

You can now read all Improvisation Rites from Nature Study Notes as digitized at the wiki.

Photo used for decoration is "Day 61 - Treasure" by Karin Bell, license: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Unless stated otherwise Content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. See licensing details