• jparker808

Make Your Music

What is Music? Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says it is “vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony”. So music is not just voices, it can be instrumental or mechanical sounds too. For example a guitar is an instrumental or mechanical device that produces an instrumental or mechanical sound.

Name three different instrumental devices _____________________________________________



We do not need an instrument to make musical sounds. Today we are going to make our own water glass xylophone.

1. Here is what you need:

· 8 identical water glasses or jars (4 is fine but 8 is better)

· Water

· 500 mL measuring cup

· 1 spoon

· Tape

· paper

· Writing implement

· Food colouring (If you wish. I did not have any.)

With a measuring cup, use my diagram below to fill each glass with an amount of water, full to empty. I put 175 mL in my “full” jar and about 90 mL in the middle jar.

Record your amounts here:

“Full” _____________________________








Put food colouring into cups or jars to make it visually helpful.

2. Label the glass with the most water number 1 and work down to the glass with the least water number 8. Keep your glasses in order form the most to the least water.

3. Time to play your water glass xylophone!

Using a spoon, gently tap each glass and listen to the sound it makes.

Which glass makes the lower sound? ___________________

Which glass makes the higher sound? ___________________

Why does each glass make a different sound?

When you tap one of the glasses, the spoon creates a sound wave that travels through the water inside. The pitch of the sound (high or low) depends on the rate of the sound wave’s vibration. Lower pitched sounds come from slower vibrations, while higher-pitched sounds come from faster vibrations. The more water a glass contains, the slower the sound of the wave’s vibration.

The glass with the most water = SLOWEST sound wave vibrations = LOWEST PITCH The glass with the least water = FASTEST sound wave vibrations = HIGHEST PITCH

Once you are comfortable with the glass tapping, try these songs:

Hap-py birth-day to you

1 1 2 1 4 3

Hap-py birth-day to you

1 1 2 1 5 4

Hap-py birth-day dear (name)

1 1 8 6 4 3 2

Hap-py birth-day to you!

1 1 2 1 5 4

This old man, he played one,

5 3 5 5 3 5

He played knick-knack on my thumb

6 5 4 3 2 3 4

With a knick-knack pat-ty whack, give a dog a bone,

3 4 5 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5

This old man came rol-ling home.

5 2 2 4 3 2 1

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