Hand Piece (With Memory Function)


players.png ~4-10
time.png 3 min

When time comes, will you be able to recall what you were playing?


You need to sit (or stand etc…) in a way that allows every participant to see every other, as anyone can signal with gestures at any moment. Unless you have mirrors, you will probably sit in the circle.

Gameplay instructions

Everyone can show cues that oblige whole ensemble. Hand down gesture in the cue marks the exact moment of introducing the change into music.

During the game, you use 4 cues, which meanings are defined as follows:
A. Wave your hand down (don't separate fingers): change music in any way you like.
B. Show 1-3 fingers with your hand and nod with your head: memorize your music (without changing it until next cue).
C. Show 1-3 fingers with your hand and wave it down: start playing music that was "recorded" under that number after cue B.

Game end

D. Show 5 fingers and wave your hand down to end the piece.


Gamemaster's notes

Difficulty of this game grows very fast with increase in number of players. It's about high-intermediate with 4 players, and nightmare for 10. Still, all players need to be very careful when playing this game, especially to avoid showing conflicting cues. By default, additional body language is allowed.

As it's not exactly specified in the score, the music gets more diverse when you agree that the player that signalled the change has freedom whether to follow his/her own gesture or not. Also if you wish, you don't have to enforce the exact repetition of "recorded" patterns and allow for the approximate recall, where only some aspects or a general feeling of previous music is preserved.

Editor's notes

Original score can be found in International Improvised Music Archive, where you can find more "serious games" for music to learn about. (More playable scores will probably be imported to our wiki in some time).


Shiba Tetsu, しばてつ

Submitted with kind permission from the author. (Thank you Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen for contacting us with the author).

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