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Make Your Own Harmonica

Make Your Own Harmonica

Make Your Own Harmonica

?What do you need


What do you need?

  1. Choose one material from the list above (paper, ribbon, etc.) and cut a strip narrower - but longer - than the craft
  2. Place the strip on the craft
  3. Place the two matches on either side of the craft
  4. Place the second craft stick on the strip.
  5. Use the two rubber bands to secure the craft sticks.
  6. Stretch the strip and blow through the opening between the craft sticks.

.Use different materials to produce different sounds in your homemade harmonica

What’s the science behind this?

To make a sound, you need vibration. Put your fingers to your throat and make a sound - the vibration you feel is your vocal cords vibrating as air goes through them.

Musical instruments also create sound through vibration. In wind instruments, the air inside vibrates, while in string and percussion instruments, like a drum or a xylophone, part of the instrument itself vibrates. The sounds differ in timbre, loudness, and pitch (like the high-pitched sound made by a whistle or the low-pitched sound made by a contrabass or the horn of a truck). The difference in sound is affected by several factors:

  • Tension refers to how tightly a vibrating device, such as a string, is stretched. Increased tension on the string produces a higher pitch, and if a string is overly stretched, it won’t be able to vibrate and produce sound at all.
  • Thickness: the thicker the device, the harder it is to move and vibrate - and the lower the pitch.
  • Length: the shorter the string, the higher the pitch.

.Timbre is affected by the material the device is made of, as well as its mass and flexibility

When playing your homemade harmonica, test how the different materials (paper, aluminum foil, ribbons, etc.) as well as the way you exhale and inhale, affect the harmonica’s loudness and pitch.