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Juice Bottle Jingles

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Mary Had a Little Lamb
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Jingle Bells
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Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
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This Old Man
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musical notes

Try this at home too!

By filling juice bottles with different amounts of water, you can create some catchy tunes! Here's how to do it with real bottles at home: take six glass juice bottles or very tall drinking glasses and fill them with different heights of water to make a six note scale. (Use your voice or a piano to see if you're in tune!) Number your bottles, starting with the one holding the most water, so they look like the ones above.

If you use Snapple bottles, you can fill your bottles to these heights:

5 1/2 "

4 "

3 1/4 "

3 "

2 1/4 "

2 "

1

2

3

4

5

6


Try composing your own songs. Add two more juice bottles to your collection and you'll be able to make a whole octave!
Q: Why do the different amounts of water in the bottles create different notes when the bottles are tapped?

Tapping the bottles with the stick causes the glass of the bottle to vibrate and produce sound. The water dampens these vibrations. So, the less water in the bottle, the faster the bottle vibrates and the higher the pitch.

Check this out!

Instead of tapping your bottles, blow into them.
Q: Notice anything different?

The effect is the exact opposite! The bottles with the most water in them make the highest notes. This is because you are now making the air (not the glass) vibrate. Shorter columns of air will have a higher pitch when you blow, just as shorter columns of water have a higher pitch when you tap them. The bottles with the shorter air columns are the ones with the most water in them.

Here's another bottle trick to try

Do this one with a friend and two bottles. Hold one bottle with the opening close to your ear. Have your friend blow into the other bottle until it produces a sound.
Q: Do you hear your bottle humming too? What's going on?

Your friend's bottle made vibrations that travelled through the air to your bottle making it vibrate. Your bottle vibrated just like your friends's bottle, so it sounded just the same. They were in harmony. This special exchange of vibrations is called resonance.
Try putting water in your friend's bottle to change the pitch of the sound.
Q: Does your bottle change pitch too?


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