Gallery 15

Crystal Lake Central High School

Crystal Lake, Illinois

Keith Levin, Teacher

The Poly-Shaker

By: Casey S.

My instrument is called a poly-shaker because it can be used in many different ways. I made it out of two blue bottles that were covered with raised bumps. One bottle contains glass marbles while the other contains rice. I chose these two items because they differ in the sound quality they make. The rice has a light, lower pitch when it hits the glass bottle and the glass marbles have a louder, higher pitch.

Wrapping a hand around the bottle and shaking can muffle each bottle. When they are played at once instead of separately, the rice or marbles balance each other out. The raised edges of the bottles add another way to play the instrument. Using drumsticks or other kinds of sticks, a musician can rub against bottles to produce a rough, scrapping sound. Sticks can also be used to bang on the bottles, the rice-filled bottle making a fuller sound while the marbles produce an echoing sound.

Finally, a wooden rod connects the two bottles with colorful string wrapped around. Using sticks again, the musician can bang on the rod to produce a knocking noise with the marbles and rice rattling inside the bottles.

The resonance of my poly-shaker can be amplified by shaking, rolling, or striking the instrument harder or lessened by softly striking, rolling, or shaking the poly-shaker.

Over all, my instrument has a light, jingling sound and I enjoyed making it.