Conductor's Remote


players.png ~4-7
time.png 5 min

Included in Reform set/collection.

This game is a draft/beta version. You can help develop it by editing or discussing in the comments

A conductor sets gestures to control musical aspects such as dynamics and tempo of a small playing ensemble. Styles can be pre-set, or improvised. Lots of chaotic fun!


Playing this game requires one conductor and an ensemble of at least 3 players (one percussionist is advised). Try to pick a genre that the ensemble is capable of playing as organized rhythmic music. Before the game, players should agree on two comfortably repeatable grooves to be played. They can be improvised, but "genre classics" work too.

You will need to agree on six different gestures (new or familiar) which will be known to the whole ensemble. Everyone should be able to see the gestures easily (staying in a semicircle is ideal). The conductor should demonstrate them before the game.

Action Example Gesture Info
Play Tap on your head Start playing or switch to next groove
Stop Hold open hand up Don't play until a sign is shown
Volume up Horizontal hand up Increase loudness
Volume down Horizontal hand down Decrease loudness
Speed up Make circle with your hand fast Slowly increase tempo (bpm)
Slow down Make circle with your hand slow Slowly decrease tempo (bpm)

If possible, display pictures of the gestures with labels as a reminder for the players. For example, the photo shows directions in Polish (tempo gestures are different than in an example table above).

Gameplay instructions

When the conductor gives a sign, the band starts playing the first groove. This loop is manipulated and altered by the conductor's continuing gestures. In the first phase, one of the conductor's goals should be training players to accurately recognize and respond to the gestures. In the second phase, the conductor has free choice of gestures, but the level of difficulty should increase from simple to more challenging, possibly maneuvering through fun chaos!

Game end

Usually the game ends when everything falls apart. If the players are successful in responding to the conductor's gestures, it's a good idea to end the game after a pre-set time.

Untied activity. A music game based on aspects, suitable for electronic instruments. One of many possible takes on conducting in music games.

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