Arduino Starter Series - The Keyboard Instrument

Arduino May 18, 2016

This is a project from my Arduino starter series.

This project is from the Arduino Projects book, however I have modified it slightly to take 5 buttons and the resistor setup is slightly different.

Project Requirements
  • Arduino Uno/Duemilanove/Diecimila
  • USB cable to program Arduino
  • Breadboard
  • A Buzzer (Small speaker)
  • One 4,7 Ohm Resistor
  • One 220 Ohm Resistor
  • One 4,7 Ohm Resistor
  • One 1M Resistor
  • Two 10K Resistor
  • Five Push buttons
  • Wires to power the components on the breadboard
The Breadboard Setup

The Keyboard Instrument setup

The Code

I left the code for this project almost identical to that of the book, however, as I mentioned I did modify the project to work with 5 buttons and it uses different resistors which produce different values in the if conditionals in the loop function.

// Create note values array
// These values determine the current that is sent to the piezo.
// The higher the value the higher the sound pitch outputted by the piezo
int notes[] = {

void setup() {
  // Start Serial monitor to see the debu messages in the serial at 9600 BAUD rate

void loop() {
  // Capture the analog value from the push button pins
  int keyVal = analogRead(A0);

  // Print this value to the Serial monitor

  // Play a tone by reading the analog value from the key presses.
  // The different key values are determined by the different resistors used
  // This is a pretty effective way to have large amounts of push buttons on 
  // a board
  if (keyVal == 1023) {
    tone(8, notes[0]);
  } else if (keyVal >= 940 && keyVal <= 960) {
    tone(8, notes[1]);
  } else if (keyVal >= 990 && keyVal <= 1010) {
    tone(8, notes[2]);
  } else if (keyVal >= 490 && keyVal <= 520) {
    tone(8, notes[3]);
  } else if (keyVal <= 50 && keyVal >= 2) {
    tone(8, notes[4]);
  } else {
    noTone(8); // If no button is pushed then the key tones are disabled

This project is available on my Github page

Nicholas Bester

I have 15 years of experience in design, development and implementation of digital marketing solutions ranging from virtual reality, 3D projection mapping, mobile apps and massive web platforms.