QuickTime Video Clip
The Two-Bottled Maracas
by David O.
My instrument is called The Two-Bottled Maracas. I got my idea from a class on tornadoes. We made a tornado out of pop bottles connected one on top of the other. My instrument is from the percussion family because it makes noise by one thing hitting another. My instrument looks like a combination of a rain stick and maracas. As to volume, when you shake it softer it becomes quieter. The instrument gets its resonance from the large, hollow shape of the bottles. The tone quality changes by how hard you shake it or if the rice hits the pie plate or if you squeeze the bottle.
I got the two bottles at a store. I got the bottle connector piece at a science conference. I found the rice an and the pie plate from around my house. I also found the wrapping paper in my house. The two bottles are clear. The bottle connector was yellow, but I put wrapping paper on it. The rice is dry. The pie plate is silver and I think the wrapping paper looks cool.
First, my parents bought two 2 liter Coke bottles. I looked through a cabinet and found the bottle connector. then I put rice in the bottle. My Mom cut a bigger hold in the bottle connector so rice could drop through easily. I came up with the idea of the pie plate and cut it it out. My Mom helped me bend the circle to fit. Then my Mom cut the bottom half of the bottle off. I used the hot glue gun under my dad's supervision to glue the pie plate in place. Then I taped the bottom of the bottle back on. finally, I measured the wrapping paper and taped it on. The problem was that the rice got stuck in the connector every five seconds, so my Mom cut a bigger hole. The tin pan wouldn't stay in place, so I glued it.
To play my instrument, you can shake it, or let the rice drain and hit the pan. You can change the volume by shaking the bottle harder or letting the rice drain on the pan for a loud sound or let it drain on the side for a softer sound.
This project wasn't the best project, but I would have to say that I had some fun making the instrument. I liked the whole idea of making an instrument. The best part was testing how it sounded. I learned how to make maracas and how to use a hot glue gun.