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Olympian Drums

by Remy S.

My instrument is called the Olympian Drums. I got my idea for making it from the five Olympic rings. It is a percussion instrument. It has a very unique sound that is a cross between a drum and a diggery doo. There are five pipes, each with its own pitch.
For this instrument I used two white plastic PVC pipes, colored balloons and paint. My father and I bought the materials at Home Depot. We went around testing plastic PVC pipes of different sizes. We found that the narrow pipes didn't have as much resonance as the wider ones. The Olympian Drums are shaped and painted like the five Olympic rings and the balloons, also, are the same colors (blue,red, green, yellow and black.

Originally, we wanted to make a woodwind instrument out of the pipes (like the Blue Man Group). But, we couldn't get it to produce more than one tone, so we ended up making drums instead. While we were testing the drums, I noticed that they looked just like the Olympic rings. My father cut the pipes at different lengths. Then we stretched the colored balloons over the pipes. We taped them together they looked like the Olympic rings. I put the balloons on and painted it. My Dad also taught me how to play the Olympic theme song.

As with most drums, you hit it. But, because the rings are so small, you have to hit them in the center to get a good quality sound. The length of the tubes determines the pitch. The only way to change the volume is to it it harder or softer. You can't really change the pitch. That is why there are five pipes. Each length makes different sound. The longest pipe makes the lowest sound and the shortest makes the highest.

Making and decorating the instrument was fun. I learned that making an instrument is hard work. I also learned a lot about the Olympics!