Phil and his daughter, Sarah, went to three different grocery stores and listened to every bottle by striking it with a spoon.  They found the best sounding bottles that were readily available, they brought them home, and they cataloged all the notes each bottle could play.  Eventually, they had a select list of bottles that sounded great and could be combined to play a full 8-note scale in the key of C  — just like Phil and Sarah's homemade panpipes, glockenspiel, fraction tubes, melodic tube drums, and didgeritubes.  Played together, they created a homemade instrument band with musical arrangements that worked for everyone!  You can see all the songs these instruments will play  — they're in the table of contents.

  “Building and Playing a Water Bottle Xylophone"
by Phil & Sarah Tulga


In “Building and Playing a Water Bottle Xylophone” Phil’s daughter, Sarah, shows you everything you need to know to make a great sounding instrument. You will learn exactly how to combine two or more types of bottles to design a full 8-note xylophone that is tuned to the key of C.

Sarah also covers a number of helpful tips on how to play each type of bottle so it sounds its best and consistently plays in tune.

Lastly, you will learn some great songs to play by yourself and with your friends. To help you learn faster, Phil and Sarah have included both sheet music and play along tracks for each song.

It's the perfect project for scouts who are making a homemade instrument.  In fact, you will see many scouting songs in this package.  Homeschoolers will also enjoy the project as a cross-curricular activity on math, measurement, music, and the physics of sound.

This complete package (including step-by-step instructions, playing tips, exercises, songs, duets, and quartets) costs only $14.95.

To download this PDF book on "Building and Playing a Water Bottle Xylophone" along with all the music tracks, just click the "Buy Now" button below.



Table of Contents



I. Choosing your bottles
     - Table 1: exact water measurements for each bottle
II. Making your xylophone
III. How to play your xylophone
     - Table 2: what you need to know about your bottles
IV. Playing basics
     - Scale, Counting rhythms
V. Beginning songs
     - When the Saints Go Marching In
     - Lightly Row
     - Go Tell Aunt Rhody
     - Matarile (folk song from Mexico)
     - Oh Susanna
VI. Intermediate songs
     - Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
     - Song of the Dragon (Chinese New Year song)
     - Camptown Races
     - Oh My Darling Clementine
     - Tue Tue (folk song from Ghana)
     - This Land is Your Land
     - On Top of Old Smokey
     - Daisy / Bicycle Built for Two
     - Home on the Range
VII. Playing with a friend
     - Hot Cross Buns (duet)
     - Mary Had a Little Lamb (duet)
     - Yankee Doodle (duet)
     - Good Night Ladies (duet)
     - Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me (duet)
     - Jingle Bells (duet)
     - Jolly Old St. Nicholas (duet)
VIII. Playing with four or more
     - Row Row Row Your Boat (4-part round)
     - Frère Jacques / Are You Sleeping (4-part round)
     - Taps







The bottles we selected were found at all the grocery stores we visited, produced a nice quality sound, and could be combined to play an 8-note scale in the key of C.

You can learn how to make an all-Perrier xylophone, or perhaps a series of Starbucks Frappuccinos topped off with a Kiikkoman bottle, or just go with every kid's favorite — the Coke and Root Beer combination. 


Copyright © 2004-2012 Phil Tulga

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