Music Game


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Music Game

Musical Simon style game

The Music Game


The Music Game kit is one of our latest beginner soldering kits. All parts are easy to solder through hole parts (the type with leads or wires that poke through the printed circuit board (PCB)).

After the Music Game is soldered up, the excitement doesn’t stop there. It is actually a fun game to play! The Music Game is similar to memory games where a light flashes and with each step another light is added to the sequence, but the Music Game is acoustic.  There are two challenges, one is to figure out which note was played and the other is to remember the sequence. Unlike the light type games, the Music Game isn’t over when you make a mistake! So even if you are an expert solderer, the Music Game may still have some challenges for you once you start playing.

The Music Game comes pre-programmed, just solder it up and add batteries, and you’re ready to play!  Once you have mastered the default song it’s easy to add your own song by simply pressing a button sequence when you first turn it on.  If you are looking to hack the Music Game and customize it even further, no problem, it is completely reprogrammable using the standard Arduino IDE.

Building the Music Game Kit:

Tools and supplies required :

• Soldering iron

• Solder

• Flush cutters

• Masking tape

• Optional - Double sided foam tape

The Music Game Kit: Step 1

Get your kit.

Clear off a work area.

Dump out the parts and identify the them.

The Parts:

1x ATmega328

1x IC Socket

1x Small Speaker

1x Power Switch

1x 2n2222 Transistor

1x 3 Cell Battery Holder

1x PCB

2x 10mm LED

2x 0.1uf Capacitors

9x Mini-Push Button Switch

10x 10k ohm resistor

2x 1k ohm resistor

1x 100 ohm resistor

Resistors: 10k Ohm

Prepare the 10k Ohm resistors by cutting them off of the paper tape.

Bend them close to the resistor body at 90° like in the photo.

10k ohm resistor (Brown-Black-Orange)

Push one of the 10k ohm resistors through each of the spots marked “10K”.

Flip the board over and solder each of the leads from the bottom (like in the photo)

Trim all of the leads with a flush cutter.


From the top of the PCB insert the two 10mm LEDs into the two holes in the center of the two circles printed on the PCB.

NOTE: Make sure that the longer lead goes into the hole marked with the “+”. (The LED will not light if it is solder in backwards).

Trim the leads once soldered.

Power Switch: 

Insert the power switch from the top of the PCB. (Either way will work)

From the bottom, solder it in place.

Mini push button switches:

Push all nine mini push button switches onto the PCB. You should almost feel a little “clic” when they snap into the PCB.

Solder them.

IC Socket:

Solder the IC socket onto the PCB. Make sure that the end with the rounded notch is pointed the same way as the white printed silk screen.


The 2N2222 transistor is the small part with three leads. Bend the center lead back a little and push into the PCB (see photo). Gently push until it is about 1/4” from the PCB.

Solder from the bottom and trim the leads.

Other resistors:

There are two 1k ohm resistors and one 100 ohm resistors. Match them to the printing on the PCB. 

Using the same technique as with the resistors in the first step, solder the remaining three resistors in place.

1k ohm resistor (Brown-Black-Red)

100 ohm resistor (Brown-Black-Brown)


To attach the speaker to the PCB you first have to solder on wire leads. The speaker does not comes with wire leads, so you will need to use two of the cut off leads from some of the resistors. 

Solder one lead onto each of the two metal pads on the back of the speaker. (see photo)

After the two wires are soldered in place carefully bend them so that they come closer together about 1/8” apart [actual 0.1”], but make sure they don’t touch each other.

From the top of the PCB, stick the two leads into the two holes marked speaker. Position the speaker so that it looks nice.

Flip the board and solder from the bottom. Check that the two leads are still not touching and trim the leads from the bottom

Battery Holder:

Take the two wires from the battery holder and from the bottom of the PCB feed the wires up through the strain relief holes.

NOTE: The black wire and red wire must match the color code printed on the PCB.

Finally, push the bare ends of the wires through the two holes marked “RED” and “BLACK” and solder them from the bottom of the PCB.

Tip: After you have tested the built kit you may want to use double sided foam tape to attach the battery holder to the bottom of the PCB.

ATmega328 IC:

Insert the 28 pin ATmega into the IC socket.

NOTE: Make sure that the round notch on the IC matches up with the round notch on the socket and PCB white silk screen.

You may have to squeeze the legs on the ATmega a little to make it fit in the socket.

Playing the Music Game:

The object of the game is to be able to identify the tone of the note played so that you press the correct note to match. The tricky part is that each time you guess the correct note another is added until you have to play the entire song. Don’t worry if you make a mistake, the song will play again up to where you have gotten, so you can try again.

If you want to play with friends, see who can figure out the song the fastest.

Playing the Music Game

1. Slide the Power Switch to the “ON” position.

2. Wait for the green “check mark” LED to flash.

3. Press the “Start” button.

4. One note will play. 

5. Press the button for the note you think you heard.

If you guessed correctly the green “check mark” LED will flash and the first note will play again followed by a second note.

If your guess was wrong the red “X” LED will flash and the first note will play again.

Game play continues by adding a note each time you guess one correctly.

You “win” by completing the entire song. Both LEDs will flash.

Each time you make a mistake the notes are played again and the red “X” LED will flash. When you guess the correct note, the green LED will flash and a new note will be added to the song.

Changing the song

1. Slide the Power Switch to the “ON” position.

2. Press the leftmost “C” key right away.

3. The red “X” LED will flash. (If the green LED flashes then start over, you did not press the “C” key soon enough.)

4. Now play the song you want to record by pressing the notes buttons (Max 24 notes). 

5. Press the start button when you are done.

6. The green “check mark” LED will flash twice. And the song will play once.

7. Press the “Start” button to start game play.

More info:

The Music Game was originally built using an Arduino. To reprogram it you can use the standard non-modified Arduino IDE. You will need to use an FTDI USB-Serial cable and connect it to the programming header on the Music Game PCB. In the Arduino IDE, choose “Arduino Pro (3.3v 8mhz) w/ATmega 328”.


Arduino Sketch:

Music Game Program: Music Game Sketch

NOTE: The Music Game IC chip comes pre-loaded with the Music Game Program. The Code provided here for those who would like to see how it works or make their own changes.


PDF Schematic: Music Game PDF schematic


Resistor illustrations from Sam Engström’s web page:

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