The new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has been available for a few weeks now … and the inevitable has finally happened. Graham Parks has made a nifty little Mac app to play piano on the Touch Bar display that is available to download. It puts a polyphonic keyboard in the center of the Touch Bar which you can then tap on and play notes.

The free app is obviously meant as a bit of fun but amusingly includes a few settings to add some depth to the experience. Video demo after the jump …

Touch Bar Piano lets you pick different instrument voicings, such as an electric or acoustic grand piano, a glockenspiel or even synth violins and xylophones.

It appears to be using the GarageBand sound library to power the actual music generation. You can also drag an onscreen slider to change the octave and adjust the touch targets of the black keys. You can also opt to include the black keys in a glissando flourish.

Here’s a video demo showing the Touch Bar piano in action:

Touch Bar Piano is a free app downloadable from the utsire website. The app is unsigned so you’ll have to get past the Gatekeeper warnings if you want try it out (right click and select Open). You also need a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to actually try it out — for obvious reasons. If you don’t have a Touch Bar Mac, the app is basically useless.screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-20-00-27

By the way, if you want the keyboard to fill the Touch Bar width (or any other App Controls) then go into System Preferences -> Keyboard and pick ‘Touch Bar shows App Controls’.

The Control Strip disappears to dedicate the full touchscreen space to the app buttons and toolbar items. In this case, it means a full-width piano!


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Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.