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Make Your Own Bottled Music

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Physics Volunteer Activities
Main Image
Physics Volunteer Activities
Created by
Western University
Activity Language
Time Needed for Activity

Students see how different amounts of air and water in a space can change the way we hear sounds.

What You Need

Materials:

  • 5 identical bottles of glasses
  • Water
  • Spoon

Instructions: 

What To Do

  1. Fill your bottles/glasses with varying amounts of water.
  2. Arrange the bottles in order from most to least full.
  3. Use your spoon to hit the glasses carefully and observe the different sounds they make.

Discovery

What's Happening?

Changing the amounts of air and water in the bottles lets you change the pitch (i.e. how high or low the sound is). When you strike the glasses/bottles with your spoon, you are making the air inside vibrate. In glasses/bottles with more air, vibrations are slower, so the pitch is lower.

What's Happening?

Changing the amounts of air and water in the bottles lets you change the pitch (i.e. how high or low the sound is). When you strike the glasses/bottles with your spoon, you are making the air inside vibrate. In glasses/bottles with more air, vibrations are slower, so the pitch is lower.

Investigate Further

Modifications for wider audiences:

  • Have students try to match pitch with other bottles
  • Use cups of different sizes with the same amounts of water to see the difference in sounds

Investigate Further

Modifications for wider audiences:

  • Have students try to match pitch with other bottles
  • Use cups of different sizes with the same amounts of water to see the difference in sounds

Resources

Instructions: 

Resources

Instructions: