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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Tuned cups (for cups and balls) - Do they exist? Have they ever? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steven.Fox
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Being among the newest of newbies (4 months of magic interest/obsession so far) my ignorance remains pretty boundless as regards magic, but being a cups and balls wannabe, I will boldly post an enquiry (I've not seen addressed in during my brief education so far).

I'm learning cups and balls. I'm currently doing a patter-free routine set to music. I couldn't decide what music to use - I fancied some lesser known chamber music or even Bach, Goldberg variations or English Suite, anything Glenn Gould really but leaving the iPod on random play, and having instantly rejected dozens if not hundreds of pieces (of all genres) one song just seemed to fit. I didn't choose it, it chose me. It's a contemporary track off a famous album by a famous artist, nothing classical about it, but the piece itself is irrelevant to my enquiry, so I won't further distract from the question, much...

During the routine I strike the cups with my wand several times. Initially to demonstrate their solidity and relative uniformity. And later to indicate certain cups with a suggestion of what may or may not be underneath. I'm using Bazia de Magia copper cups and a JD magic steel (rubber coated) chrome tipped wand. Two of the cups have almost the same pitch but the other has a higher tone. I've not used a tuner to determine what frequency they produce (I've only just thought of this and now will do) but (again) that's irrelevant to my long-coming question 'does anyone make, or has anyone ever made a set of tuned cups?'
By tuned I mean 3 distinct sounds, frequencies or notes if you wish. Granted it's only 3 notes, though I'm guessing it may be possible to tune the upper and lower halves of cups differently, especially if a dividing band is used between them, so a potential 6 notes. Even 3 notes would allow a degree of opportunity for joining in with any accompanying music, and 6 would enable recognisable little tunes or motifs to be played - such as 'the Close Encounters motif' or any number or recognisable ditties. Some might even be appropriate to the performance...

Thanks for reading! And thanks in anticipation for any/all responses.
Pete Biro
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Maybe YOU CAN "TUNE" THEM BY PUTTING MASKING TAPE OR RESIN INSIDE THE CUPS. Smile
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Wizard of Oz
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Steven.Fox, that's a really cool concept. I'm not a cups and balls expert, but to my knowledge there has never been such a thing. There have certainly been cups that have been known for sounding beautiful when lightly struck, e.g. Rings-N-Things' Bells of St. Mary's. https://www.rnt2.com/bells-of-st-marys-s......ome.html

I have a set of the originals, and let me tell you, they sound beautiful.

Pete has a good point regarding customizing the insides to change the tone. Depending on the routine you are performing, your audience never need see the underside of the cups.

A fun climax to your routine could be when your cups have the final loads underneath, and you strike them with your wand only to hear a dull thud. Pick up the cups to show why...
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Steven.Fox
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Thank you for the response and suggestions so far.

It's not something I'd do myself (custom tuning a set of cups) and it needn't be central to a routine, just something to insert when and if appropriate. Or a specific sequence or motif could be used to represent a certain type of effect. One jingle for a vanish, another (perhaps the vanish jingle in reverse) for an appearance / reappearance. Just a cutesy musical accompaniment. [I also appreciate this isn't a fish crawling under your skin and appearing through an open wound in your arm, it's safe, lightweight, 'take home to your mum(mom) stuff' - although naturally has busking potential too} It could be a menacing two tone Jaws theme, to comedically add tension when a ball (or other object) had vanished...maybe it was dragged under? ...) There's hundreds of recognisable jingles, simple tunes and motifs possible using a handful of notes, everything from the opening of Aqua's Barbie Girl to the start of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata No.14.

Anyway, hopefully some more information will be forthcoming. It seemed unlikely no one had ever done something like this, but it's also unlikely that someone has and no one visiting these parts is aware of it.

Thanks again.
dcjames
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Hi Steven,

Welcome to the Café! Being bitten by the magic bug can lead to a lifelong obsession, and in my experience, the cups bug is a particularly hearty strain.

At any rate, I’m personally not aware of anyone making or selling ‘tuned cups’ and that certainly doesn’t mean it’s never been done. I can see potential in your thinking and wish you well on your quest.

Concerning using the sound of the cups in routine, Michael Ammar has a nice bit wherein he states, “These three cups are completely identical...” as he taps them... ring, ring, clink! After the third one sounds a dull note he comments, “Especially that one.” This always makes me laugh.

Best,

Doug
“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

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Jonathan Townsend
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Try starting with bells. Handles and all. Ask Jake what's available... and Bill too.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Wizard of Oz
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Cups and balls with real bells. That's great thinking Jonathan! The ball or balls could even be the ringer (or what you tell people is the ringer).
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Tom Fenton
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Steven Tucker released a bell chop cup years ago.
It featured what I thought was quite a well thought out routine.

I know that my friend, Richard Mendez has one that he likes to use.

I think that they sometimes show up on a certain auction site.
"But there isn't a door"
NightSG
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Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGe9EfLh-ug

No need to tune the cups, and you'll be the only one doing C&B to that tune.
Mobius303
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Someone had a cups and balls routine that used bells and the little clappers inside. It was quite a clever routine.
Each cup sounding different is an interesting idea.
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