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Musical Rube Goldberg machine sings an extraordinarily pretty song

A Swedish band called Wintergatan has built a music machine out of wood, cables, steel marbles and Lego, and you can see it in action.

Martin Molin and his Marble Machine.
Samuel Westergren

Swedish band Wintergatan's latest music video was a little outside the box. Not one for traditional instruments, Wintergatan's Martin Molin built a complex musical machine by hand. It's powered by hand crank and uses over 2,000 steel marbles to play vibraphone, bass, and kick, snare and hi-hat drums it incorporates.

The Marble Machine took over a year to build. Molin documented the process starting in December of 2014, detailing the construction of the 3,000-piece machine over the course of eight days (nine, if you include the trailer).

A complicated system of cogs and flywheels keep the marbles moving, with toggles opening up channels that turn various instruments on or off. A cylinder made of Lego pieces (like the cylinder of a music box) controls the flow of marbles to the vibraphone so that they play a specific tune. Meanwhile, marbles hitting the bass' strings play notes while Molin works the fretboard, and other marbles play the attached drums.

It sounds utterly chaotic in theory. In practise, it results in delightful music and an absolutely mesmerising video. It's worth taking four and a half minutes to watch Molin work his magic with his magnificent Marble Machine.

You can also watch the videos of the build here on the Wintergatan website.