How to Make a Xylophone From Glass Bottles

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Things You'll Need

  • 6 identical glass bottles
  • Nylon brush
  • Metal spoon

A xylophone is a percussive instrument that produces different tones when different lengths of wooden bars are struck using a mallet. It is a common part of orchestras and marching bands, and though professional xylophones are expensive instruments, you can make your own simple xylophone out of glass. A glass xylophone allows you to experiment with tone and rhythm without spending a lot of money.

Scrub out six identical glass bottles using a nylon brush. If they are not identical, they should be as close together in size as possible. Glass tumblers and glass jars are good choices for a glass xylophone.

Set the glass containers in a row on a table, with two inches between each one.

Fill each glass container with a different amount of water, with the smallest amount to the right and the largest amount to the left.

Tap each glass lightly with the side of a metal spoon. Note that as you go from right to left, the tones get progressively lower. Play the xylophone by tapping the glasses with the spoon.


  • Add drops of food coloring to each glass container to color the water.

    Add more glasses with different amounts of water to get a richer tone.


Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images