Mobius Science Center

Circle of Fifths Musical Harmony

Visitors exploring harmonious sounds on the Circle of Fifths touch table.

This intuitive and playful multitouch table allows multiple visitors to explore the musical concept of the Circle of Fifths, a circle of closely related pitches and key tonalities. Upon placing a fiducial, or puck, on the table, visitors activate a visual representation of the Circle of Fifths that rotates around the puck and can be played as a musical instrument. Over time a sweeping color bar indicates the time until the next key change (a chord progression), at which point the table color changes as well.

Visitors can manipulate notes, cascading arpeggios and complex chord structures that tie into the current scale/mode that is modulating over time. When a key is played, a corresponding choral relationship visualization appears. As more notes are played, ever more complex form around the table, highlighting visual relationships between notes. When the table isn’t being used, it visualizes and plays familiar melodies, inspiring curiosity and interaction.

Music theory made harmoniously playful and tactile.

The table is installed in a sound cube to optimize the audio experience, and prevent bleed.
Color study for the Circle of Fifths Harmony table, based on exhibit brand guide. As the key changes, the color changes.
Design composition showing how different finger placements result in differently grouped notes.


  • Spokane, WA


  • 2012


  • Renate
    • Exhibit Design
  • Arxi Creative
    • Visual Design
    • Systems Architecture