Picture of the board game AWESOME MUSIC BOARD GAME

Pour l'article en français, c'est ici.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen I’ve worked on a little music board game. Here I will talk about what it is and how you can create your own and play with your friends.

First, I had the idea to create this game to play it in my music game classroom I often do. The game allows to put all the ideas of short music activities and sometime not really catchy to play in the long run. This board game allows to often change this activities in one game, and to create different music possibilities in every game.
I told to myself that a board game can be a good pretext to create a game environnment where everyone can fit in easily. There is game suspension I would consider strong and engaging, which avoid also some disconfort you can encounter while improvising. Here, the cards suggest actions and orders to the player, so the moment of wavering can come from the cards drawn and not from the potential lack of ideas or immersion which can happen in improvisation.

What is this game ?

This board game is a form or the Goose game, so someone needs to bring their pawn from point A to point B, in the fastest way possible with dices. Minimum 3 players..
The pawns move on squares and every square has a colour. When someone is on a square, they need to draw a card according to the colour and need to execute the order on the card.
The cards are divided in three categories of orders, Actions, Listenings, Writings.

-Actions cards describe an action in link with your music instrument, something to say or sing, and sometimes drawings.
-Listenings cards describe an attitude of listening, acoustic or abstract, and sometimes ask to listen and mimic an other player as an echo.
-Writings cards describe an action to draw or to write something and then to give the result of this writing to someone else. Those are the only cards not to throw away after one turn.

The orders on the cards need to be executed during the turn of other players. If I draw an Action card saying « Play like everyone life depends on it », at the moment I draw the card, I need to execute this action until I have an ither order to execute (When it’s my turn again to draw or if I get the result of a Writing card).
The Writings cards are played in two times. If I draw the Writing card « Draw something for the player at your left to perform », I will draw something during all the turns of the other players and when the turn is coming back to me, I will give the result of my drawing to the player on my left instead of the card they will draw at their next turn (they will thrwo the dices thou before perform the drawing).
It’s possible de add a rule where people can accumulate a waiting line of Writings cards, or a rule telling that a person can accumulate a maximum of one card, and if I have to give a Writing card to someone who already have one to perform, the writing card will go the left of the person I have on my left (so two persons left). If a card is impossible to perform for someone, they can throw it away and draw a new one.

A turn is going like this :
-I throw the dices
-I move my pawn
-Here, two situations :
*If I’ve received an order coming from a Drawing card, I need to perform the drawing until it’s my time to throw the dices again.
*If I don’t have an order coming from a Writing card, I need to draw a card and execute the order until it’s me again to throw the dices
-The next person play and throw the dices...

How to build it

To play the game, you need :
-A board game with coloured squares, a beginning zone and an ending zone
-Order cards
-Pens and papers
-Instruments of listening (seashells, little items…)
-Music instruments and little instruments (Toy instruments, kazoo, percussions…)

Here I can tell you how to build the two first items, for the rest you’ll need to work on your own.

The board (two hours of building) :
-A rigid cardboard in a square form of 16 inch by 16 inch
-Thick paper of colour (pink, yellow and blue for me)
-Fancy paper
-Black markers
-Stick of glue
-Stickers et colour marker for decoration

For the board game, I took a rigid and thick cardboard I’ve cut with a cutter (if you are a minor and you need to cut something, please do it with an adult - who know what they are doing is a must). I took a ruler and traced an angular circuit (I wasn’t really precise on the lenght of my squares, I should have been to avoid wasting paper and do too much maths...)

Picture of the empty cardboard.

I noted on the cardboard every square with its number and colour (blue, then pink, then yellow) and cut piece of thick coloured paper in the lenght of the squares and then glue.

Picture of the bordgame under construction with the blue and pink squares.

When all the squares are glued, I separated the path of the square with a big marker when the squares are sticked to each other. I’ve had the fancy paper for the beginning square and the ending square. I wrote some rules of the game (number of minimum players, what to do when it’s impossible to execute a card, the behaviour of Writings cards, the win conditions). I also put some stickers, some drawings and I put the Creative Commons 0 licence which is the licence of the game.

Picture of the board game all done with the squares, the stickers and the rules written.

The cards (3 hours approx) :
-Bristol paper
-Thick paper of colour (pink, yellow and blue for me), the same colours you used for the suqraes of your board
-Black markers
-A stick of glue

For the cards, I’ve done a liste of the different cards on one of my notebook (the full list is below). Firts I cut the bristol paper in 2,75 inch and 2,35 inch. I wrote all the cards I separated in Action, Listening and Writing (that I wrote on the top of the order).
Next, I counted the number of cards I had and cut in the thick paper of colour the same format and the quantities needed (yellow for Writings, blue for Actions and pink for Listenings). I glued the thick papers of colour on the back of the written cards and let them dry.
Et voilà !

Picture of the cards under construction.

Picture of the cards all done on the board game.

When it’s all done, gather the material and some friends around a table, and then play !
The game is called « Super Jeu de Plateau Musical » (Awesome Music Game Board) and is under Creative Commons 0 license. You can build it and use it in a commercial way, remix it, how you want !

Here is the list of the cards I’ve done for the game, you can also produce your own cards :
Actions :
-Play as everyone life depends on it
-Play the longest notes possible (inspired by Composition #6 by La Monte Young)
-Play a little instrument *3
-Tell out loud what you perceive
-Try to apprehend what music will do the player at your left
-Try to apprehend what music will do the player at your right
-Quietly tell stuff to the player on your right
-Quietly tell stuff to the player on your left
-Congratulate your friends
-Throw a dice and play the number you get
-Play whatever you want to do
-Draw something for the player on your right
-Draw something for the player on your left
-Explain why you like your favourite song
-Play one note/percussion how many time you like *2
-Write a love letter to the person you love
-Play a note/percussion always different
-Play an already existing music phrase but not exactly
-Play the most horrible thing you can play
-Play from all your virtuosity

Writings :
-Draw something the player on your left will perform
-Draw something the player on your right will perform
-Write/draw something that the player on your left will try to explain
-Write/draw something that the player on your right will try to explain
-Draw a really beautiful drawing, tear it apart et give it to perform to the player on your left
-Draw a really beautiful drawing, tear it apart et give it to perform to the player on your right
-Write/draw something the player on your left will not perform
-Write/draw something the player on your right will not perform
-Write a song the player on your left will sing
-Write a song the player on your right will sing
-Draw a music sheet the player on your right will perform
-Draw a music sheet the player on your left will perform

Listenings :
-Imagine the accompaniment of the birds singing at dawn (inspired by Secret Piece by Yoko Ono)
-Listen and imagine an other player with you
-Listen and mimic the player on your right
-Listen and mimic the player on your left
-Listen to the sound of the atoms crashing on your brain cavity (inspired by Marcel Alocco 1967)
-Listen to the souvenir of your favourite song
-Take an item and listen through it*3
-Pay attention on your right
-Imagine one thousand suns in the sky at the same time gradually melt into the sky (Inspired by Tunafish Sandwich Piece by Yoko Ono)
-Imagine the sound of the tree not falling in the forest
-Pay attention on your left
-Listen with the ear on the table
-Listen through your instrument