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# Diatonic elevator sounds

to improve accessibility for the visually impaired
 (+15) [vote for, against]

The elevator I take up to work every morning emits an electronic beep when it passes every floor. "beep, beep, beep, beep..." if you get on at 2, it's 4 beeps until the 6th floor. Then on the way down to 1, it's 5 beeps.

If you stand in front of the elevator, it beeps all day. A useless, meaningless beep, every time the car passes a floor, whether it stops or not.

And every morning, I think that the world would be better if, instead of a monotonal "beep", the elevator emitted a major diatonic interval to indicate the floor it's currently on.

Thinking in the key of C (for simplicity), floor one would be a unison. floor 2 would play C and D, a major second. Floor 3 would play a major third, C and E. And so on up the scale: perfect fourth, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh, octave. Marking each floor with a recognizable musical interval would improve accessibility for the visually impaired, since they could get on the elevator at any floor and know from the "beep" what floor they're on.

For buildings taller than 8 floors, you could get into large intervals like 9ths and 11ths and 13ths. But beyond that interval, recognition starts to plummet, so the musical elevator would start to play interval sequences instead. A quarter note of C and D followed by a quarter note of C and A would mean "26".

But what about zero? musical intervals are a 1-based sequence starting with 1 as unison, so for zero I propose a diminished fifth (aka augmented fourth). So, floor 40 would sound the notes C and F, followed by C and F#.

You can probably tell I've given this way more thought than it deserves

 — gonzola, Jan 06 2009

It really is an excellent idea though.
 — hippo, Jan 06 2009

me likey! [+]
 — when you notice me not waving, Jan 06 2009

bit screwed if you're blind and tone deaf though, eh ?
 — FlyingToaster, Jan 06 2009

//I've given this way more thought than it deserves// [marked for tagline] [+]
 — miasere, Jan 06 2009

[+] perfect for choral auditions: if they can find what floor the audition's on, they're in.
 — FlyingToaster, Jan 07 2009

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