Play a Bottle Xylophone...


Aaron brought his collection of coloured water

into the Allen Centre - he didn'trealize that he had

the makings of a musical instrument at his fingertips!

By banging his bottles with a spoon or a ruler he

discovered each bottle made a different sound.

Listening carefully, he put his bottles in order from

the highest sound to the lowest sound. The bottles

with the most water made notes with the lowest pitch.

Less water resulted in notes with a higher pitch.

He made up a tune but decided that he needed some

different notes....

Aaron and Brooke decided it would be easier if all the bottles

were the same. This way, the only variable is the water level.

They discovered that if they hit where there is lots of air, the

sound is different from hitting it where there's water.

Hitting with metal or wood makes a difference too -

they had to find the best place to hit that works with all

the jars.

They decided that the loudest sound resulted from hitting the

bottle near the water hmm... maybe water amplifies sound?


Testing the pitch of the notes....


Adding some more water to lower the pitch of the note....


6 glass bottles


Food colouring

A ruler or a spoon.


If you hit an object it vibrates.

Vibrating objects make sounds - remember the duck caller?

The number of times an object vibrates is called frequency.

The higher the frequency the higher the sound.

Tapping the bottle causes vibrations in the bottle.

Only a little water means there's lots of air space for the

sound to vibrate.

Lots of water in the bottle slows down the vibration.

The more the water

The slower the vibrations

The lower the sound


......1..........2.......... 3......... 4..........5..........6

Put a number on each bottle. Number 1 is the lowest note.

Try this mystery tune:

333 333 35123

444 4433 3355421


Play an online bottle xylophone

(You will need Shockwave on your computer to play it)


Composing some music.....


Aaron composed some Sneaky Snake music to accompany

a poem he was learningin class.....