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Table Chimes

by Linda H.

My instrument is the Table Chimes. I got the idea for making it from my grandmother's wind chimes. I like the pretty little tinkly noise it makes. I thought it would be cool if there were a way to play it yourself and make it with several different pitches. So the Table Chimes were born. It is a percussion instrument. It looks like a small table with four chimes hanging down underneath it. It's not quite what you could call tinkly, but it does make a high pitched clanking noise. On my first attempt, it didn't have a good tone quality, so I hung them a different way so they were louder and made a sharper sound.
For my instrument, I built my table out of cardboard cut from a box that was sitting around in a closet since the time of the caveman (courtesy of my brother). I made the legs out of cardboard tubes where are a little longer than a foot. The bottles are ones from my collection that I was saving for craft projects. I filled them with water and a bit of hydrogen peroxide to keep it from getting moldy. I tied them to the Table with wire cable thread that Erin H., my friend, got me to make necklaces with. It was painted with purple and blue paints. I glued all the pieces together with Mom's hot glue gun. The mallet is one of Mom's old reflex hammers that lost its rubber.

First, I diced up the cardboard box and glued it together. Then I took two cardboard tubes and slid one into another and put glue around the edge of the tubes. Then I made two three inch long slits in the sides of the tubes and slid the tube onto the box and glued them in place. Next, I had Mom punch holes in the lids of the bottles and tied the cord to them. I glued the caps on to prevent them from falling off. I then proceeded to tie my mother to a chair and make her put holes through the top of the table. Once I had Mom untied, I threaded the strings through the holes and, yep, you guessed it, glued them in. Finally, I painted it with pastel green and pastel blue wall paint (it was the only kind we had enough of). I did not have to make a mallet. I just used my Mom's old reflex hammer.

You play my instrument by taking the mallets and hitting it against the bottles. Each bottle has a different pitch, from highest to lowest if you are facing the right direction. One has almost the same pitch as the highest bottle.

I had an interested and fun reaction to this project. I liked it because it gave me a good opportunity to do an interesting craft project. I got to used "The Forbidden Hot Glue Gun of Doom", not to mention skip going on Mom's trips to the grocery store. I learned that making and working on a completely original instrument is a huge challenge, and that, if you use the hot glue gun, chances are your hands will get fried to a crisp if you're not careful. I also learned that if you try to mush a bunch of little doodads together and clank them together, you will not get a good tone quality. This was a very fun and educational project.