So abiano is now on the market and can be downloaded from Google Play. Don’t forget to review and tell us what you think of the app, what can be improved, what you would like to see…etc.

Special thanks to Professor Shawn Van Every for all his help with everything: the debugging, the publishing, and of course teaching us what we know about developing apps for android in our Mobile Media class in NYUAD, Spring 2012.

And of course, thanks to New York University in Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) for making all this possible.

Android app on Google Play



As a result of our music instrument inability, which had multiple reasons:

  • music instruments are expensive
  • learning to play an instrument takes time
  • instruments are generally not portable
  • practicing music instruments over and over might get boring

An app came to the world as our solution for these problems:

ABIANO (an instrument application with a twist)

This app is designed for the android phones, which makes it both portable and inexpensive. Because the app is portable it can be used at anytime and anywhere (between classes, in a car, …etc.).

The twist in the app is what makes it addictive and not boring. There are raining balls that have been designed to drop according to the note being played. The color of the rain also depends on the color of the keynote being pressed. That’s not all. The balls are controlled by some crazy physics equation, involving force gravity and wind.

WARNING: GEEKY details ahead!

The app’s design consists of three screens: splash, home, and the play screen. The play screen is the main one where all the magic and beauty happens.  Controlling the entire thing are three classes (SoundPlayer, KeyNotes, and Ball), and an extensive main sketch that has plenty of loops that control each key. The controls depend on mousePressed and mouseDragged, where music files are matched with the keys according to the standard grand piano notes, and are played when the screen is touched.

All these combined to make a visually and auditory pleasing experience.

So, what’s next?:

  • Recording capability that enable the users to record their masterpieces along with voices from mic input
  • Creating all sections of grand piano with scroll bar to control which section to be played
  • Tutorial like option in which the users are shown how to play certain song, for example through flashing key

We hope you will enjoy using this app! We look forward to hearing your feedback! 🙂

Note about the naming: The word ABIANO derives from the original “A Piano”, but since we’re here in the Arab World, and people have a tendency to pronounce “p” as “b”, the word became “A Biano”. The space was eliminated to produce an ear catching name. 

Simple Wireframe

This wireframe is meant to guide us in scaffolding. Our wireframe is pretty simple, consisting of 4 screens including the splash. The aim of the app is to let people have fun while they are playing the piano. We want the users to be able to see a visualization of the music they are playing. We haven’t decided what kind of visualization is going to be, but we have several ideas, such as equalizer, a dancing snake, fountain, bouncing balls, and abstract painting.   

Full Description – Still Under Construction

So the idea was to create an app that will allow the user to play a musical instrument whether it is a guitar, a piano, or drums in two thirds of the screen while allowing some type of feedback in the remaining top one third of the screen. The feedback can range from a snake crawling on the screen when music is being played, to some sort of a music visualizer (like the one in iTunes or Windows Media Player), or even to some abstract art, where things will be drawn on the screen according to the music played by the user.

The Steps necessary to make this app work would be:

  • Dividing the screen into parts, where each part when pressed will play a different sound. But at the same time it will not be random sounds but the notes of the piano for instance (C5,C sharp, D5,D sharp, E5, F5, F sharp…etc).
  • Figure out which segment of the piano we are going to use in order to incorporate the correct sounds (starting C1 or C2 or C3…etc)
  • Get the short sound files for each note. They will need to be different extremely short files that will play when the appropriate buttons are clicked.
  • Allow for multi-touch if possible.
  • Decide what will be done in the top third of the screen.
  • Work on how the feedback will work in sync with the music (frequency or just when music is played or volume…etc)
  • Develop an attractive user interface.
  • Test and make sure app does not crash.
  • Give a name for the app 🙂

Of course after deciding what the basic idea is and building a wireframe or paper prototype and making sure the idea is doable, we will need to divide the responsibilities evenly.

Under Construction

In this project, we’ll create a piano instrument with a snake, equalizer, or ball moving on the top one third of the screen, according to the music being played. 🙂