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Arabize My Song – Design Installation

This idea was initially meant to be an instillation on a large scale. However, given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve decided to turn the instillation into a website (for now).

The following is just an explanation of how the instillation would look like on happy sunny normal days. 

There are hidden gems and underrated musical instruments worldwide! Especially  in the Middle East, we have some very uncommon and unique musical instruments that are being used exclusively in Arabic songs. Since these Arabic musical instruments are unknown to many people and undervalued, I’ve decided to use them to help me add a twist to your favorite songs!

The idea is to let the user connect their phones and play any song they like to a station that’s supposed to “Arabize” their song. The station would have about 4 tarbushes acting as a rotating button to control different Arabic musical instruments. Each tarbush would control the volume and the tempo of each instrument. It’s like a mashup between karaoke and DJing.

Black and white picture of several Egyptian men wearing a tarboush, which is a red circle hat

I chose the tarbush to be the controller because the top view looks like a volume button on many radios and old music players. Also, because the tarbush was traditionally worn by most men in Egypt as a hat in the past, mainly in the 50s.

It wasn’t a symbol for a certain religion or class, it was simply worn by everyone. Very few people still wear it nowadays.

Tarbush top and a button top side by side


Under the tarbushes, there will be potentiometers to control the volume of the Arabic instrument. I’m not sure of what the user will connect their phones to exactly, but it can be just an empty promise.


How I Imagine the Project to be



User Path

This was supposed to be done on an Arduino connected to Ableton and let them do their magic.