by Amy H.

I chose to make a tambourine for my instrument for music class. I'm calling it "My Tangerine Tambourine" because it sounds neat and "My Green Tambourine" was already taken. It took a lot of time and many things to make my instrument. My tambourine can have different dynamics, pitches and timbres depending on how I shake it. The tambourine can be traced back through history and has a story to tell. This is the story of "My Tangerine Tambourine."

Before I could begin to start making my tambourine, I had to get all the supplies I needed to do the project. My mom let me use her spring form cake pan to use as a mold for making my tambourine. I had to rub petroleum jelly all over the outside of it so when I was done making my tambourine it would slide off easily. I also needed to use scissors to cut newspapers into rectangles and I emptied several bottles of glue to attach the rectangles to the cake pan. To finish my project, I needed paintbrushes and paint, needle and thread, bells, ribbon and string, a hot glue gun and a can of spray lacquer to make my tambourine look and sound pretty. When I finally got all my materials gathered together, I could begin to make my tambourine.

It took a lot of time and effort to make my instrument. Cutting up the newspapers was the easy part! The next step was to glue the newspapers, one by one all the way around the cake pan, over and over, until the newspaper layers got to be 1/4 " thick. This took forever! My mom sat across from me slowly turning the cake pan while I glued on the paper pieces. Every time we got back to he beginning of where I started gluing, I had to overlap the new paper pieces onto the ones I already attached so they would make a solid foundation for my tambourine. Over about a week, working an hour and half each day, I finally finished this step. Then, I had to let the whole thing dry for three days. After that, my mom pried my tambourine off the pan. She trimmed the rough edges off with a knife; then, it was time to glue on more newspaper to make it smoother. After this dried for a day, I painted my tambourine with tangerine paint. After it dried, my Mom showed me how to spray it with lacquer so it would be shiny. I let it dry for awhile more before I glued on the ribbon. After that Mom and I glued bells all over my tambourine. Because I put so many bells on my tambourine, my Mom stitched a handle out of the wide ribbon so that I could hold it to be able to shake my tambourine. Finally, to give my tambourine a little different look and sound, my Mom and I tied some bells around the edge of it. Now "My Tangerine Tambourine was complete!

My tambourine can sound different depending on how I use it. I can change the timbre from sounding really smooth to having a "beat" depending on how I move it. If I'm swinging it gently, it sounds even and smooth. When I twist it quickly with my hand, the bells that hang hit the body of the tambourine and create a "drumbeat" like sound. When I hit my tambourine against my leg, the dynamic it creates can be very loud. The softer I hit it on my leg, the quieter the sound is that it makes. The same thing happens when I shake it. If I shake it easily, the sound is milder than if I shake it rapidly. Depending on how I hold "My Tangerine Tambourine" when I'm shaking it, I can change the pitch. If I'm holding it really near to my body when I hit it against me, the sound it makes is much deeper than when I have it farther away from me.