accordionMy friend David loves to play music and, as a result, he’s amassed a sizable collection of instruments over the years (read: three keyboards, two saxophones, two trumpets, two guitars, a bass guitar, and a flugelhorn, all spread between his parents’ house and his own Cambridge apartment). Yes, it’s an expensive hobby, and now guess what: David wants an accordion.

Fortunately, I have good news. Thanks to Jay Silver at the MIT Media Lab, it’s now possible to play an accordion without ever borrowing, renting, or buying one (average purchase price = $5000). In fact, with a pencil and a cheap circuit board, you can assemble a tool that allows you to draw musical instruments on paper and then play them with your finger. It’s called the Drawdio, and as Silver’s Web site explains, “The Drawdio circuit-craft lets you MacGuyver your everyday objects into musical instruments: paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, grandpa, even the kitchen sink…”

True, discerning listeners may notice that the penciled “instruments” all sound remarkably similar to a theremin, but it’s still pretty cool:

Want one of your own? You can build it yourself or assemble it from a kit.