Review: Compose Yourself by ThinkFun

Photo-A-Day #3720

We received a copy of the new game from ThinkFun called Compose Yourself to play with and review. Our opinions are our own, 100%. We enjoyed playing this game for quite a while right out of the box. It is very simple but requires that you have either an internet connected mobile device or are using a computer to play. It is pretty great because you get to hear the song that you make as you play. Then you can change it around and see how else it can sound.

The idea is brilliant and was invented by world-famous composer and cellist Philip Sheppard. The story is that he was working on composing some music and that he was using transparent paper to put down his notes. Then he thought, what if I flip the notes upside down, or mirrored vertically, or horizontally. He experimented with how that changed the music and the idea for Compose Yourself happened. Philip worked with ThinkFun and created the game and then with an orchestra behind him he composed all the pieces of music that are used in the game.

Wide view of Philip Sheppard conducting the orchestra
Wide view of Philip Sheppard conducting the orchestra (Photo Credit: Tom Bowles)

Right out of the box kids can start making their own music. There are very simple rules to play. Lay out 4 cards. You can flip them over, mirror them vertically or horizontally and on each side in the top left corner is a number. Enter that number into the Compose Yourself site to pull up that piece of music. Once you have laid out four cards you can start the music playing to hear what you made. But that is not all you can then add three ore lines of four cards of music together and make a longer song. When you play it back you can then send it out via Social media or e-mail it to yourself. I emailed a couple of songs out to Allison so she could hear them.

Eva’s song – Second Shot

Eva with Compose Yourself,  Ready to play.
Eva with Compose Yourself, Ready to play.

After Eva made a bunch of songs she then gave us a little demonstration. She played the song using just the Marimba, then just the orchestra and then a combo of the marimba and the orchestra. She danced to the music each time. I will have to post those videos at some point.

Eva choosing her song pieces
Eva choosing her song pieces

This game gives kids a chance to play with music in a very easy and fun way. They don’t have to know anything about musical notes to start playing but it could be a starting point for serious interest into music. Kids love music first off because they can make noise, but when they start to get some mastery over music their minds open and expand. This ThinkFun game is a great starting point for that curiosity.

Eva testing out her song on the iPad.
Eva testing out her song on the iPad.

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