Open Nav
Home Demos > Physical Science

You’ve probably heard of these instruments: the piano, the trumpet, the clarinet, and the snare drum.

Maybe you’ve heard of somewhat unusual instruments like the sitar, the mbira, or the sleigh bells.

Some musicians make music with pure electricity using electronic synthesizers. An artist who calls himself “Spoonman” plays the eating utensils he’s named after. There’s yodeling in Switzerland, hollerin’ in West Virginia, didjeridooing in Australia. There are more instruments than we would fit on a web page.

Here’s a reliable instrument that is just fun. Well, fun and science.

What You Need

  1. a cardboard tube
  2. a sharp pencil
  3. wax paper
  4. rubber band

What You Do

  1. With the pencil, punch a few small holes in the cardboard tube. Make the holes about the same size and about the same distance apart.
  2. Cover the end of the tube with a piece of wax paper.
  3. Secure it with a rubber band.
  4. Put your lips to the open end of the tube and hum. By putting your fingers over the holes, you can vary the sounds.

What's Happening?

It’s a kazoo. The wax paper vibrates with sounds you make in the hollow parts of your head. Hum on!

Bill Nye