Peripole Presents: Musical Exploration Lesson 1 "Bottles & Jugs"

Posted by Rei Murray on August 19, 2020

Integrating Music and Science, a Musical Exploration series by Peripole





Title: Sound from bottles and jugs

Category: Wind, Percussion

Components: Two or more bottles or jugs of differing sizes

Controlled Factors: Breath control, Water level

Variable factors: Size of bottles and jugs



Things to Investigate

1. Blow directly into a bottle; blow gently across the bottle opening with the edge of the bottle resting lightly just below the lower lip.

  1. 2. Blow across the bottle opening, holding the bottle edge slightly away from the lower lip.

  1. 3. Cover bottle opening slightly with thumb and blow; cover bottle opening with thumb half-way and blow.

  1. 4. Blow lightly, then harder, then very hard.

  1. 5. Blow across the opening of each bottle, from smallest to largest.

  1. 6. Pour a little water into a bottle then blow across the top.  Add water gradually and blow across the top after each addition.

  1. 7. Tap an empty bottle with a pencil eraser.

  1. 8. Half-fill the bottles with water then tap first above the water line and then blow it.  Place caps on the bottles and repeat taps above and below the water line.  Completely tighten the caps and repeat taps above and below the water line.

  1. 1. Which method of blowing produces controlled sound?

  1. 2. Does this method produce sound?

  1. 3. Compare the sound resulting from the various blowing methods.
    How does the pitch vary?
    What wind instrument produces sound in a similar way?

  1. 4. In what way does the sound vary?


  2. 5. How does the pitch vary?

  1. 6. How much range, from lowest note to highest, can be obtained?
    What range of notes can be produced using all the bottles?
    How many scales are produced?

  1. 7. Compare this sound (percussion) with that made by blowing (wind).
    Does the pitch vary?

  1. 8. How do the different methods affect the sound?