An Interesting Instrument

This instrument contains a drum, a single tube panpipe, a stringed instrument, and a scraped instrument (which Dr. Woodson refers to as an idiophone). The main body of this contraption is a disposable plastic sandwich box with ridged edges and a hinged lid. 

The construction technique was as follows: 

1. Make a loop from a 60 cm length of monofilament fish line by placing both ends about half way up the sticky side of an 8 cm length of masking tape. Fold the tape over the line, closing sticky side to sticky side. 

2. Fold the tape over itself twice, so that the tape with the ends of the line inside of it becomes fairly thick. Wrap another 8 cm length of masking tape around this mass. 

3. Open the plastic sandwich box and place a piece of tape inside the box along the hinge to reinforce it. Place the lid of the box through the loop of fish line so that the wad of tape is outside the box. Close the box and tape the top and bottom edge together. 

The drum stick / pan pipe is made from a plastic spoon straw: 

1. Push the straw's paper wrapper to the center of the straw. 

2. Place a 15 cm piece of masking tape on the spoon. Slide the paper wrapper to the spoon end and fold the spoon over the wrapper. 

3. Wrap the tape around the wrapper to form a beater which will not come off the straw. 

4. Reinforce the handle of the drum stick by attaching a 10 cm length of tape along the straw, lengthwise. You may need to place a second piece of tape on, the same way, to insure that the straw is completely covered. 

How do you play this strange contraption? 

For the panpipe, bend the straw into a shallow V. Blow across the open end of the drum stick tube to produce a tone. Change the pitch by rebending the straw at a diferent place or by pinching the straw shorter with your fingers. 

For the stringed instrument sound, while seated, hold the box between your knees. Pull the string taut by grasping the tape with one hand. Pluck the two strings with the open end of the straw. Change pitch by changing the tension on the strings or by changing the angle at which you hold the strings, thereby changing their length. 

For the drum sound, hold the string in one hand by the tape wad so that the box hangs free. Beat the side of the box with the thick end of the drum stick. 

For the scraper, hold the box in one hand and the drum stick in the other. Scrape the ridges of the box with the open end of the drum stick. Try different areas on the box and different speeds of scraping across the ridges to see how it affects the pitch.
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