By Breanna S.


My instrument is called a Whatchamaphone. It is actually three instruments rolled into one. The first instrument is part of the chordophone family.

This instrument gets played like a guitar. The strings are made up of different lengths of rubber bands. It can either have a high or low pitch, depending on which band you pluck. More tension on the rubber band creates a higher pitch, and less tension creates a lower pitch. The volume varies by how hard or soft you pluck the strings. There is a slight assistance to the resonance from the metal can. The timbre of this instrument is brittle.

The second type of instrument is part of the idiophone family. It is a type of maraca made up of rice placed in the bottom of the metal can. You may change the volume and timbre of this instrument depending on how you shake it. You place the aluminum foil cover over the "guitar strings," and shake the metal can very lightly for a softer, smoother timbre, and youshake it faster for a rougher, harsher timbre. This instrument might also sound like rain if you rotate the metal can at just the right speed, because of the ridges in the metal can.

The third type of instrument is in the membranophone family. This final type is a drum. You may either play the cover of the metal can for a brassier sound, or you may flip the metal can over and tap the bottom for it to sound more like a snare drum. The volume of this instrument can't be changed very easily, but it is possible, depending on how hard you tap the metal can. The timbre of this instrument is harder to describe. It's very weighted if you play the bottom of the metal can. I noticed that if you play the cover that the sound resonates a little more than if you play the bottom of the metal can.
I really had fun making this instrument. I found that the most difficult part was coming up with a name. I also had fun combining three instruments into one. I could hardly think of a way to just make one instrument, and so I made a combination of the first three instruments I could think of.