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Do you ever wish your Arduino was more musically talented? Or maybe your project could use some cool sound effects. The SparkFun Musical Instrument Shield is an easy way to add great sounding MIDI sound to your next Arduino project. This board is built around the VS1053 MP3 and MIDI codec IC, wired in MIDI mode. Simply connect a speaker/stereo/pair of headphones to the 1/8" stereo jack on the shied and pass the proper serial commands to the IC and you’ll be playing music in no time!

The VS1053 contains two large tonebanks including various piano, woodwinds, brass, synth, SFX and percussion sounds. The shield is also capable of playing several tones simultaneously (maximum polyphony of up to 31 sounds!). Take a look at our example code to get an idea of how easy it is to add musical zest to your next Arduino gadget.

In this version, we’re using a better regulator, corrected the speaker connectors, and have the reset pin pulled high. We’ve also included solder jumpers for pin 3 and 4 so they’re selectable.


The SparkFun Music Instrument Shield appears in the following collections:

SKU SF-DEV-10587

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Grant Andrew
SparkFun Music Instrument Shield

I had this shield working within 15 minutes of opening the package. All I had to do was solder in some headers (only 3 lines to connect) and a jumper for MIDI mode, plugged it into a test program on an Arduino Yun (could have been any Arduino), plugged in the headphones, and then sample MIDI sounds came through loud and clear.

I still need to test a more extensive MIDI program, but the very basic one just worked flawlessly. All that I will be changing is to play sounds from different instrument banks (e.g. drums).

I did originally try a Featherwing Music Maker (which uses the same chip), but I think I stuffed up with the power supply as I wasn't connecting to a Feather board. Probably my fault and the same program should have worked on this one too.

The advantage of the Sparkfun board was it had the 5v to 3.3v power supply on board, but the Featherwing looks like a good option if I had a Feather compatible board.

Very impressed with Little Bird and Australia Post with the Sparkfun board. I ordered Friday morning, and had the board on my doorstep by mid afternoon on Monday, and had it tested before bedtime on Monday night!