Our gift to you: an app that turns your phone into a Civil War trumpet

Our gift to you: an app that turns your phone into a Civil War trumpet

One of the jewels of the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments in the Faculty of Music is a trumpet made in 1666 by Simon Beale, who was the state trumpeter both to Oliver Cromwell and Charles II. Now, anyone can ‘play’ this historic trumpet by blowing into the microphone of their iPhone or iPad.

The Bate Collection has partnered with the University’s IT Services and the Ashmolean Museum to produce an ingenious new app, thanks to funding from the University’s IT Innovation Fund.

re-sOUnd lets users ‘play’ many of the Bate’s instruments in a number of different ways. For example, they can play a 19th century guitar by plucking the strings on the screen.

Andy Lamb, head of the Bate Collection, says: ‘This is a really exciting new app. Unlike many other museums, we actively encourage people to try playing the instruments for themselves. This app allows us to extend that opportunity to many more people around the world.’

‘The quality of the recordings and the technology means that people can play the instruments to a high standard and it sounds exactly like the real thing,’ says Theodore Koterwas of IT Services, who developed the app.

‘At a time when more and more music is being created on computers, this app also brings back some of the physicality that is involved in playing an instrument.’

Re-sOUnd can be downloaded from the App store.

The Bate Collection is open during University term time from Monday to Friday from 2pm to 5pm, and Saturday from 10am to midday.