Games

15 Cards

Preparation

Find 15 different images. Each one is a separate card. These 15 cards make up one full deck.
As you’re choosing the images think of some kind of narrative you can put them in.
You will need one deck per player.
The best way to print them out is on index cards of four cards per page. So, if you have 4 players, you're printing out 15 pages.
After you have all 15 images printed then it’s time to put them in order, remember to have them tell some kind of story - from beginning to end.
Cards are placed face up with card #1 first.
Create identical stacks for each player. Same images and same order.

Set up

Hand out the card stacks to each player.
Have the players place the stacks where they can easily reach and see them.
Make sure the players don’t look past the first card yet!

Gameplay instructions

Everyone starts on the first card, it will be the same card for each player.
Look at the image on the card and interpret that image to music. Improvise the image.
Play that card for less than one minute then move to the next card. Repeat.
All players are free to change their cards independently. They don’t have to change at the same time. But they should listen to what the other players are playing and try to keep the whole thing musical.
As the players change cards they can choose to change their playing to match the new card quickly or slowly.

You can choose a player to start the game solo on the first card and the other players can join in before the first card is finished.

Game end

The game is over when every player finishes playing the final card.

Example

Card #1: Image of an open field / #2: wind / #3: a moving train / #4: an air pump / #5: wind / #6: small group of people talking / #7: a man falling from a skyscraper / #8: a giant hand reaching down from the clouds /#9: lightening / #10: tornado / #11: Godzilla / #12: war torn town / #13: birds singing / #14: wind / #15: open field

Variants

Add a few different cards in the stacks to change things up. For example, all the cards are identical between stacks except card #10. This card is different for every player. When playing with friends it's best to make a card something special to a player. A photo of each player’s mother perhaps! Or two players get something they like and one player gets something s/he hates. When they reach that part in the game two players will most likely play something consonant while the one player plays something dissonant.

Game Designer

Marcus Staniec (notrightmusic)



Agents

Preparation

You will need two decks of Inspire cards. If you can, provide also a third deck for reference, but this one will not have to be shuffled, it can even be an uncut a4 printout of cards. For this game players should have some freedom of movement.

Set up

Not all cards should be used in one round. The "sub-deck" for use can be prepared beforehand by a person that doesn't play, or if you don't want to exclude anyone, cards can be prepared by two "Dealers". It can be done right before the game with the following method that doesn't give away any informational advantage.

Dealer #1: gather all the cards into pairs of the same image (you can see faces of cards but hide them before others) and put them in two-card piles face down.
Dealer #2: without the Dealer #1 present and without looking at card faces, choose piles (pairs) of cards until the amount of chosen cards exceeds the amount of participating Players by 3 or 4. Keep these piles at the table. but rearrange them in an unrevealing way. Put the rest of the cards away - they will not be taken for the sub-deck in this round. You are not allowed to look at faces of discarded cards.
Dealer #1: take piles of your choice to the subdeck until only 4 piles are left. If the amount players is odd, put one more pile to the sub-deck.
From the remaining 3 or 4 piles take one card of each to the sub-deck.

The sub-deck should now be shuffled. During this time the Dealer that is not shuffling reveals Agent(s) from 3/4 piles. There is one Agent if the amount of players is odd (reveal the face of 1 of 3 cards), and two Agents if the amount of players is even (reveal the face of 2 of 4 cards). Other two hidden cards from piles will not be looked at until the end of the game.

Cards from the sub-deck should be delt to players one each. Look at your card. You are not allowed to tell what inspiration you have on your card. Player that has a card that is revealed is taking a role of an Agent.

Gameplay instructions

All the participants are now to head out to meet each other in small non-permanent duets. The aim is different for Agents and other players (you know you are an Agent if you have a card that is the same as revealed in a setup). Each time you meet someone, you should connect musically with that person. Everyone chooses individually when to split and look for another pair.

Until you decide to withdraw, you should play something all the time (of course some rests are allowed), but you might play very quietly (for example to not let people outside of your pair hear you too well). You can play anything you want, that depends on your strategy.

Aims

Agent: While acting like a regular player, and probably even trying to pose as one, you will need to find out which two players don't have their pair in the game (i. e. they have a card equal to one that stays at the table face down). You do that by careful listening to everybody around you, and sometimes by musical provocation.

Players: You play in the hopes of recognizing a person that has the same card as you. Two players of a pair should find each other by musically interpretting their cards when playing with each other. On the other hand, you'd rather not make it too obvious or you might regret it in the end if you happen to be a person without a pair. Body language of players should not be used to signal what card one has, but can be used to show if a playing pair thinks they have a same card or not.

At any point you can withdraw from further playing. You may signal it by stopping, facing a wall or sitting down, but don't leave the playing space, as you'll need to respond with some sounds if someone comes to form a pair with you.

(Strategy advice: Withdrawing is a good thing to do if you are already sure who are you paired with. Be aware though, that if you and your supposed pair both withdraw suddenly and at the same time, that is a big informational advantage for an Agent. Do you really want to help an Agent? ;) If everyone around you is withdrawing, you'd better withdraw quickly too, because if you will be the last person playing.)

Game end

Agent is not allowed to withdraw, but when s/he has played a duet with every person in the game, s/he is allowed to end the game which is signalled by a slow crescendo (might be noisy) to a level that is impossible to ignore. You can also prolong the game at this point if there is more then one pair still playing and you need more information.

When all the music stops Players are still not allowed to talk nor to reveal their cards.

Agent(s) should now leave the room, where they count (no haste) to 10 and come back (knock three times slowly before entering). While Agents are absent, Players reveal two cards that show which two players were given cards without pairs. Now, still without speaking, Players form pairs.

When Agent(s) comes back they/he/she pick a pair of Players that according to previously conducted research don't have a card with the same image. Only then cards can be revealed to check if the guess is correct.

Variants

You can provide a theme for this game by selecting specific images for used cards. Halloween would be the first idea, but (as suggested in the comments below) countries of the world would suit great too, and probably many others.



Animal Sounds

Set up

Have all the players, or audience if you have a decent sized one, write down three different animals - one animal per one piece of paper.
When finished, everyone folds their papers and drops them into a hat (or bucket, or something).

Gameplay instructions

ROUND 1
Choose a first player.
This player picks one piece of paper from the hat without looking.
Without showing anyone else the first player takes a look at the animal written on the paper.
Now the player must play something to represent the animal.
Everyone else must yell out guesses of what animal is being played.
If it’s hard to hear people yelling then stop playing to listen. Start playing again if the answer was wrong.
When the correct animal is guessed the player stops playing.

The winner now joins the first player but picks a new piece of paper. They both look at the animal and start playing.
Continue the same process, building the playing group, choosing different animals, until there’s one person left who didn’t guess correctly.

Now this round is over.
Everyone except for the person who didn’t guess gets a chip.

ROUND 2
Choose a new first player and repeat the whole thing again.

Continue playing more rounds choosing a new first player each time until there are no new first players left.

Game end

Players count up their chips at the end to see who has the most chips. The one with the most chips wins!

If there’s a tie you could have the losers pick an animal and perform.
Whoever guesses right is the winner.

Notes

Repeated animals are fine. It's always nice to hear how different players, or combination of players, interpret repeated animals!

Variants

For a much simpler version: each player takes turns. Think of an animal and play an interpretation of it. Whoever guesses wins that round.

You can also try other topics besides animals. Human feelings for example.

Game Designer

Marcus Staniec (notrightmusic)



Apocalypse

Preparation

Print this page which will serve as a game board.

Set up

If you are beginner improvisers, we encourage you to agree on one of the end condition for the piece. These endings keep the music quite open, but simplify some decisions.

Gameplay instructions

Start at "apocalypse", follow arrows, play every stop at least once.

Game end

Here are our suggestions on how you can end the piece:
A. Don't agree on anything (as in the score, good for musicians-improvisers).
B. Go out one by one.
C. Try to end all at the same moment…
a. …individually at any spot you prefer.
b. …back at Apocalypse.
c. …right as you hit your last spot that you didn't visit before.

Example

The a4-room has a recording for this game at: http://a4-room.com/apocalypse/

Designer-composer

Girilal Baars (2013), published with kind permission from the author.
http://girilal.org



Attack of the Rhythm Dancer

Preparation

Download the game pack HERE.

Find the “Weakness Cheat Sheet & Cards” file.
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For the musicians: Print out copies and give one sheet to each musician.
For the dancer: Print out one copy, cut out the weakness rhythm patterns. You should now have 10 ‘Weakness’ cards.
Next, find the ‘Number of Weakness Hit Till Death’ file.
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Print out one sheet and cut out the numbers. This will be the second card for the dancer to choose from.

Set up

Here is an example of how everything should be set up:
40835623142_14fb1a5130_h.jpg

Position a timer somewhere so everyone, especially The Dancer, can see it at all times.

The Musicians should be positioned in somewhat of a circle.
Each Musician receives 1 Weakness Cheat Sheet each and places it somewhere it can easily be seen while playing.
Place The Prize (a lamp, rock, food, etc.) exactly in the middle of the circle.
The Musicians cannot move from their position. Only The Dancer can move around.

About 15 - 20 feet from The Prize set up a table with the two decks of cards turned face down. ‘The Weakness’ Deck and ‘The Number of Weakness Hit Till Death’ Deck. Shuffle the cards. Keep both decks separate.

Gameplay instructions

Start the timer.
The Musicians start improvising ambient music. Try not to get rhythmic, busy, or noisy.

As The Musicians are playing The Dancer randomly picks 1 card from the ‘Weakness’ deck.
Important note to The Dancer #1: Repeat the rhythm in your head a few times. Remember it. This is what you will be listening for the whole time.
Next, The Dancer randomly picks one card from the ‘Number of Weakness Hit Till Death’ deck.
This is how many times a single Musician has to play The Weakness in order to kill The Dancer.
Important note to The Dancer #2: Remember this number well.
Make sure The Musicians don’t see either card.
The Dancer places the cards back on the table face down.

After 3 minutes from the start of the timer The Dancer begins, starting from the card table. The Dancer’s dance movements should be kept consistent, only changing abruptly when being attacked by its Weakness (explained below). Slowly moving towards The Musicians, aiming for The Prize.
The Dancer can move around The Musicians, but always towards The Prize.
The Dancer has three main things to always pay attention to: the clock, The Weakness, how many times The Weakness is played by a single Musician.

By the 2 minute mark The Dancer will reach The Prize, pick it up, and win. The Musicians must try their best to stop this!
If The Dancer touches the prize before the 2-minute mark The Dancer will automatically die!

The Musicians play various Weakness attacks to try and kill The Dancer.
There are 10 Weaknesses, all viewable on the Weakness Cheat Sheet.
Remember The Musicians have to find the specific Weakness and play it a certain amount of times for it to kill The Dancer.
To find The Weakness The Musicians must play through The Weaknesses (in any order) until The Dancer noticeably reacts to it.
Try to keep the attacks musical, connected to the improvised music being played. But, make them stand out enough that The Dancer can recognize them. Don’t play Weaknesses on top of other player’s Weaknesses. Try to physically communicate.
The Musicians shouldn’t embellish or alter The Weakness rhythmic patterns in any way. Play them as clear as possible. For pitched instruments, it’s best to play the weakness rhythms with one note.
If The Weakness is played The Dancer must react in a negative fashion. Ex. Waving arms up in the air.
The closer The Dancer is to The Musician playing The Weakness the more dramatic the reaction. Ex. Wildly waving stretched out arms in the air. But, the further The Dancer is to The Weakness the smaller the reaction. Ex. Small, but noticeable, twitches of the arms.
If one Musician plays The Weakness and is far from The Dancer another Musician closer to The Dancer might have noticed the small reaction from The Dancer, so now this closer Musician can repeat The Weakness and get a bigger reaction. Now maybe all the players have clearly seen the reaction and they now know The Weakness. Time for a full on attack!

Game end

For The Dancer to die one Musician must play it’s Weakness the number of times given. This number can not be divided up among different Musicians. Of course, The Musicians won't know how many times is needed. One must keep attacking until The Dancer dies.

If The Musicians don’t kill The Dancer by 2 minutes The Dancer will reach the goal and The Dancer will win!

If one Musician played the picked Weakness the picked number of times The Witcher will die and The Musicians will win.

Pick a new dancer, and start again!

Gamemaster's notes

A basic understanding of rhythmic notation is required.

It would help to do a quick run through of all The Weakness rhythm patterns before playing the game.

The version here is a stripped down version of the original which is performed with a visual theme.
Th stage set is supposed to be deep in a forest.
The Prize is a baby, the prop used is a life-sized doll with a throbbing battery powered light inside. It sits on a tree stump (made of cardboard).
The Musicians are trees. They wear tree costumes.
The Dancer wears a sorcerer looking robe and face make-up.
The timer is framed to look like the sun.
Also, fog and lighting are used.
Creating a theme for music games is always an extra step. But, it can be well worth it, especially if you have an audience.

Designer-Composer

Marcus Staniec (notrightmusic)



CCQR133

Set up

Set a time limit and display a timer.

Gameplay instructions

Rule 1: In the first third of the piece approx. 1 in 6 sounds to be loud and short (P); approx. 1 in 6 to be long (up to 20 secs) and quiet (Q); the rest to be short and quiet (R).
Method: let x be the time available in minutes, and y be the number of players participating. 2x/y=z = the number of sounds (nearest whole number) to be made by each player in the first third of x. If z≥12, each player to make 2Ps, 2Qs and the rest Rs (all freely distributed). If 12>z≥6, each makes 1P, 1Q and the rest Rs. If z=3, 4, or 5, each makes 1P or 1Q and the rest Rs. If z=1 or 2, only the occasional player to make a P or a Q, the rest make R only, If z<1: either ½ Rs may be attempted, with an occasional ½P or ½Q. […]
Rule 2: Proceed smoothly from the first third through the remainder of the piece.

Game end

Game ends with a timer.

Editor's notes

This is one of the Improvisational Rites - notes of Scratch Orchestra (scholar info on the ensemble) from 1969. In the text you can find many interesting game mechanics like conversing with imaginary pigeons or giving money to other people ;). Inspiring!



Circle of 5

Preparation

Print (or draw) one colour board. The board shows the circle which defines the order of neighbouring colours. The goes: black - red - yellow - green - blue (blue is again the neighbour of black). If two colours are not neighbours they will be called opposing colours.

Prepare cards (pdf). Print one set (a4 card) for every Player. The cards will need to be shuffled and shouldn't be recognized from the back, so after cutting them out it's best to put them into opaque card sleeves.

Cards and their meaning

Cards have the aforementioned colours. At every colour there are two cards with two different cues. Every cue is shared between two neighbouring colours. Here is a list of symbols and their meaning:

dot short sounds red / yellow
repeat loop, ostinato yellow / green
low speaker play quietly green / blue
snail slowly, lento blue / black
hat high sounds black / red

Set up

Playing area

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Put the circle board at the center of your playing area. Every Player will need some space in front for one's individual deck and for the collection of cards.

In the example you see the game after a few turns, when every Player has already some cards in the collection.

Starting the game

Choose the first Player at random. Every Player shuffles one's 10-card deck and puts it on a table at one's reach. At the start of the game (and whenever no card is displayed) no music should be played.

Starting with the first Player everyone puts a card from the top of one's deck to one's collection. Single cards in the collection are placed visible to all Players. When you have a card visible in your collection start playing music, by interpreting the cue of the card (see more below in: Musical Instructions).

Gameplay instructions

On the turn there are six phases:
1) Stop playing music
2) Draw three cards from your deck
3) Play one of the cards from your hand
4) Work out consequences of a played card
5) Put all two cards from your hand back at the top of your deck
6) Join back to the music

The turn is then passed clockwise to the next Player. If he or she seems pre-occupied with music-making consider giving clearer (visual/tacile?) signals of ending your turn.

Phase 3-4 — card consequences

If you play a card that is already in the circle put it right to your collection.
Otherwise put your card to the circle at the proper colour spot. If in the circle there are cards of opposing colour to the one you played, take them to your collection. You take 0-2 cards on your every turn.

Pairs

When two cards in your collection have the same cue but different colours they form a pair. Collecting pairs will be the basic aim of players.

If you have a pair in your collection flip it. It's cues don't apply anymore.

Musical instructions

Generally:
a. Play music when it's not your turn.
b. Follow the directions shown in the circle.
c. Follow the directions shown in your collection (but not on collected pairs).

Try to not play as an absent cue would call for. For example don't repeat too much if there is no "ostinato" card shown in the circle nor in your collection.

Consider swift transitions on the start of your turn, especially when there are many Players.

Game end

When only two cards are left in your deck your gameplay is ended. Don't stop the music yet. Count your points: you get 3 points for every pair in your collection, but for every other card you get -1 point. If you have 6 or more points, take over the music. Play a solo-like part as long as you feel like it.

If you have less than 6 points, pay attention. If some Player starts to play above of the rest, accompany them until they finish playing. If no-one takes the initiative, the piece should soon end calmly (in a form of a fade-out).

Gamemaster's notes

The piece is in beta, any suggestions welcome.




CMH-CR135

Preparation

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).

Set up

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.

Editor's notes

This is one of the Improvisational Rites - notes of Scratch Orchestra (scholar info on the ensemble) from 1969. In the text you can find many interesting game mechanics like conversing with imaginary pigeons or giving money to other people ;). Inspiring!

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



Conductor's Remote

Set up

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. The members should at least be able to perform organized rhythmic music. Before the game, players should agree on two grooves to be played. They can be within a certain genre, or completely improvised. These grooves should be comfortably repeatable.

You will need to agree on six different gestures which will be displayed to whole ensemble at once. Everyone should be able to recognize the gestures easily. You can use gestures that your ensemble is already familiar with. 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 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)
remote-control-gestures-display.jpg
If possible, display pictures of the gestures with labels as a reminder for the players. For example, the gestures in this image show directions in Polish (tempo directions are different than in an example table above).

Gameplay instructions

When the conductor gestures, the band starts playing the first groove. This groove is manipulated and altered by the conductor's continuing gestures. In the first phase, the conductor's goal is to train the 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 successful in responding to the conductor's gestures, it's a good idea to end the game after a pre-set time.



Convergent Ostinato

Set up

One percussive accompanist and three melodic players should aggree before the game on comfortable time and rhythmic feeling. Before the game it's important not to play additional sounds as that could suggest key or scale to other players.

Every player independently should plan his or her first line to play, it should fit in one bar and you should be able to repeat it for a long time. This planning should include the exact way the line will be played (not only as a musical idea).

Gameplay instructions

After a short intro by game's percussionist, players start playing their planned parts together (confident entrance makes the best effect). Then at some time a player may decide to change his or her pattern.

Single change in the pattern is allowed for only one note at a time. The note cannot be removed from a pattern, but it can be moved to other place in the bar and it can get another pitch. After every change the player has to repeat his new pattern at least three times.

With these gradual small changes, players are tasked to change their usually random and dissonant starting pattern into a clear, harmonic, popular tune.

Game end

If a player considers the music played as being accesible enough for game's success, he or she should stop introducing changes to the pattern. The final call is for the percussionist who makes a fill to end a piece.

Variants

You can try to play it with more people, but it gets much more difficult very fast.

You can also play without a percussionist, but players should then have a very good time.

Editor's notes

"Gibberish and cliché" quote is from Paweł Szymański



Counterpoint Party

Set up

Agree on who starts as the eight-note player and who as the half-note player. These values provide Default Notes Density for a player.

Gameplay instructions

Game is played in a 4/4 rhythm. Each player will play in his or her Default Notes Density for two bars then players swap roles.

Game end

Try to come together to a musically natural end of the piece (typically with slowing down).

See also

3-split - free-form game about swapping states, where proper places for swaps are not set by the rules but to be discovered individually.

Video

Designer/composer

Ben Levin (description based on the video)



Democratic Chord Writing

Video

Variants

Good way for letting more instrumenalists participate is to make them play only one note at a time. If you decide to do it, it's best to also establish a conductor to show the moment of playing the sound (and maybe to break ties during voting).

If needed, even more people can join as voters.



Game Over

Video instruction

Cheatsheet

Game%20Over

Downloads

Get the cue cards needed to play this game. You could also make your own of course. Also includes the guide.

Variants

Game Designer

Marcus Staniec (notrightmusic)



Hand Piece (With Memory Function)

Set up

You need to sit (or stand etc…) in a way that allows every participant to see every other, as anyone can take the role of a conductor 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.

Example

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 conductor 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).

Composer/designer

Shiba Tetsu, しばてつ

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



Into the Labyrinth

Preparation

You will need a pen and a piece of paper for the Dungeon Master. Depending on your playing environment, you might need also a screen (e.g. cardboard) for Dungeon Master, because his paper should not be watched by other Players. If your paper lays horizontally, have also a single small object to mark the changing position on a piece of paper.

Set up

A percussive Player is chosen as a Dungeon Master (the rest of the Players should be melodic). He will play with a piece of paper that will not be seen by other Players. When everyone is seated, Dungeon Master proceeds with the setup:

On a piece of paper draw a 3x3 grid of squares - every square will be a room in the dungeon. Mark one of the squares as the starting point of Players (for first games let it be the middle square) and a place of treasure. Then add three walls in such a way that a single wall divides two small squares on a grid by their side and no square is locked out from the rest of the dungeon.

Establish the dimensional aspects (it's helpful to write them down on your piece of paper). Players might end up wander blindly through the dungeon, but Dungeon Master will need to know 100% where they are at any time. For first games it's best to play with density and pitch. Here, density grows from South to North (bottom-up) and pitch grows from West to East (left to right).

Gameplay instructions

Players start to improvise freely but with some rhythm involved and with narrowed pitch range for each Player.

The game proceeds in steps:
1) DM points to the Player that will direct the team by his music in this turn. DM is obliged to point to different Players during the game and try to let everyone play, but otherwise he can arrange the music freely.
2) Player chosen by DM changes his or her pitch/density to indicate the direction of movement in the dungeon.
3) DM signals if the team went through (soft percussive sounds) or bumped into the wall (sharp sounds).

Game end

Game usually ends when Players reach the treasure (which is signalled by triumphant sounds from Dungeon Master, e.g. hand clapping or conglatulatory speech). But two type of losses are possible - when Dungeon Master loses track of Players or Players give up in searching for the treasure.

Example

Here is a solo run, where adventurer was quite lucky and hit just one wall although happened to visit quite a lot of squares (7 of 9).

Designer-composer

Game is in beta and is being developed by DrZdrowie and odolany. But everyone is welcome to contribute!



Loop Cycle

Set up

Players position themselves in a circle.
A Loop Leader is chosen.

Gameplay instructions

The Loop Leader improvises some kind of simple loop (1-4 bars). Continue to repeat it.
Within a short amount of time, the player to the right of the Loop Leader joins and adds to the loop.
Continue this process with all players.
Note that players can add slight variations and embellishments to their loops.
The last player in line has the choice to add to the loop or do anything they want with it (ex. solo on top).
Eventually, the Loop Leader will stop playing. From the right of the Loop Leader, in order, one by one, every player stops playing.
Now the player to the right of the Loop Leader becomes the new Loop Leader. Enter the second round by repeating the process with a completely different loop.
Try to create seamless segues from one round to the next.

Game end

Go through all the rounds until everyone had a chance to be the Loop Leader.
As a band bring the music to a natural sounding end.

Notes

When improvising a loop take into consideration the number of people in the group and how much ‘musical space’ you should leave in the loop. If you have something like 6 people in your group, leave a good amount of rests, and/or don’t play so busy. This way the other players will have room to fill in the spaces. However, if you have something small, like 4 people, you probably should fill up the spaces more.
Part of this game is thinking about how to leave room for the other players.

Variants

For groups of only 3 people, play through the cycle 2 times.

Video

Game Designer

Marcus Staniec (notrightmusic)



MPIR106

Set up (see notes)

Each person takes a number, between 1 and x (the nmber of people taking part). Numbers are chosen starting with the highest and counting downwards. If there is a disagreement about who should have a given number, it may be decided by tossing coins, by voting, or any other method. Each person must know who has the number immediately below his own, and all must remember who has the highest number.

Gameplay instructions

When numbers have been assigned, No 1 begins performing. Some time after No 1 has begun, No 2 begins, sometime after this No 3 begins, and so on until all are performing. If desired a maximum and a minimum interval may be decided in advance [… otherwise] this is free.

Game end

To end: The person who begins last (i.e. the person with the highest number) decides when to end. When he ceases performing, everyone else stops.

Gamemaster's notes

The extended set-up of this game seems to be intentional as artistic means, but with more casual approach, the game works fine with any form of order assuming method. It's worth noting though, that it's better to not keep a set order to be obvious during playing (like usually it is during games played in a circle).

Nice way to do it is to play this game after having played a turn-based game in the circle. Every player remembers a person to his/her right (if previous game was played clock-wise) as a predecessor, and then everyone moves to other place in performing space (in the circle or not).

Editor's notes

This is one of the Improvisational Rites - notes of Scratch Orchestra (scholar info on the ensemble) from 1969.

In the text you can find many interesting game mechanics like conversing with imaginary pigeons or giving money to other people ;). Inspiring!

Photo used for decoration is "Can't wait to go back home" by sightmybyblinded, CC BY-NC-ND



Musical Tetris

Set up

Decide on how many measures to loop. From 2 - 4. Choose an order for each player to play. Stay with that order for the remainder of the game. (It's best to sit or stand next to each other in that very order).

Gameplay instructions

Everything must be played between sixteenth and quarter notes. No less - no more.
Everything a player plays must be repeated exactly the same way at the same spot in the loop for the remainder of the game.
Players are not to play over anything else. No overlapping of any kind.
Everything played will continue in a manual loop played by the players (no loop pedals) until the end.
See the example below to help further explain the approach.

Game end

If a player makes a mistake then everyone stops and tries again from scratch.
Once all the empty spaces are filled the game is over.
It’s fun to play the final form a few times before ending as a celebrated theme of glory!

Gamemaster's notes

I’ve found that a medium tempo is easier than a slow tempo.
Personal note: I really like when this game uses all synths!

Example

In this example let’s say we have four players. They decided on a two bar loop.
A player can play any kind of sound - a musical note, untuned percussion, noise, ect. For his example everyone will play notes.
Player #1 starts by playing something anywhere within the chosen number of measures.
The loop begins:
1.png

Player #2 follows:

2.png
Player #3:
3.png
Finally player #4:
4.png
Now we come back to player #1. This player now plays his second note:
5.png
And this continues until there are no more spaces left and the loop is filled with no overlaps. The final product:
6.png
As stated in the rules, it's fun to repeat this a few times to celebrate the glory of completing this round of the game with no mistakes:
7.png

Editor's notes

Photo used for decoration is "Tetris" by Cotopaxi, CC BY-NC

Game Designer

Marcus Staniec (notrightmusic)



Mutual Prescriptions series

Set up

Collectively, choose one of the pieces [A-K, see below].

Gameplay instructions

One player indicates by hand-sign a number between 1 and 5. Everybody then plays according to the instructions belonging to that number, until someone else indicates a new number. Sections with a new indication can may follow each other fast or slow as you like.

Game end

The piece ends when there is no playing and no one takes a new initiative.

Notes

No pre-arranged sequences neither of elements nor of musicians indicating numbers. You may practise contents first if you need to

Pieces to choose from

A
1. fast changes
2. slow changes
3. no change
4. something new/different
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

B
1. very fast call-response (pointillistic – unpredictable)
2. other kinds of call-response
3. more alternating than responding
4. neglect each other
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

C
1. light timbres
2. dark timbres
3. mixed timbres
4. interweawing timbres (making a pattern together)
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

D
1. like classical music
2. like popular music
3. like experimental music
4. like electronic music
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

E
1. very long sustained tones (more than 10 seconds)
2. sustained tones of middle durations (1-3 seconds)
3. extremely short tones (under and much under 1 second; pointillistic)
4. mixed durations
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

F
1. pianissimo
2. forte
3. piano with sforzandi (=sudden strong, short accents)
4. individually making sudden changes between different or contrasting, unchanging levels ("terraces")
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

G
1. individual slow crescendi and diminuendi as well as some passages having a constant level
2. individual fast crescendi and diminuendi as well as some passages having a constant level
3. individual both slow and fast crescendi and diminuendi as well as some passages having a constant level
4. Various individual changes, both sudden and gradual (and also some passages having a constant level)
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

H
1. melodies
2. motifs
3. patterns
4. something else
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

I
1. monumentally slow
2. very fast
3. slow, gradually becoming fast (accellerando)
4. fast, gradually becoming monumentally slow (ritardando)
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

J
1. widely differing tempos
2. shared tempo (someone starts) – keep it simple!
3. shared tempo (someone starts) – make it complicated!
4. no tempo
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

K
1. Only one musician playing totally solo (The first to start - but not the one giving the sign! A new one sign = change musician)
2. Two musicians playing (those who are the first to start)
3. Three musicians playing
4. Four musicians playing
5. ad lib. (no prescription)

Composer

Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen (2009, published with the kind permission from the author)
Original score at: http://vbn.aau.dk/da/publications/composition-mutual-prescriptions-series-2009(fc60f4cb-89db-4dea-a6e9-dc5eb9783220).html



Perception 4

Gameplay instructions

1) The first musician plays a soft sound, lasting 5 seconds.
2) Pause (5 seconds)
3) The second plays the same sound (or very similar), slightly, but noticeably softer. (5 seconds)
4) Pause. (5 seconds)
5) The first plays the sound, slightly but noticeably softer than in 3). (5 seconds)
This continues until the sound is no longer audible.

Game end

When the point of inaudibility is reached, the players again find the dynamic level which was played right before the sound became inaudible and play the sound together 5 times, alternating 5 second sounds with 5 second silences.

Designer-composer

Michael Pisaro, published with the kind permission from the author
This piece is part of the series, which is also available: perception.pdf



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