Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul is one of the all-time greats in music instrument invention, so the guy clearly deserves an animated Google Doodle of his creation that you can play. Strum chords, pluck with the mouse, and even record phrases on Google’s homepage. (See video, above.) Since Google Doodles are archived – and since you can look at the code by choosing a View Source feature in your browser – these little novelties also have a life beyond their one day of glory. (Note, you may need to visit the US site if you’re in a part of the world that doesn’t have this Doodle, since they’re localized.)

Here’s where things get a little geekier:

Using the free and open source tool SuperCollider (Mac, Windows, Linux), composer and coder Nick Inhofe scripts Google’s interface, using the ability of SuperCollider to talk to keystrokes. You can download SuperCollider for free and try it out – it’s an insanely powerful real-time synth and processing engine – or just hit the Google shortcuts to hear the results. Full details:

Google Doodles with SC [SuperCollider mailing list]

Good, clean fun.

Check out Nick’s SoundCloud account, too, for some good listening: