ACS: Science ABCs - 'X' is for Xylophone

Xena is a member of
A wild and crazy band.
They play all kinds of music—
They’re really in demand.

Xanny’s on the funnel horn,
While Xavier plays a pan.
Let’s see what Xena’s playing,
As loudly as she can.

Xena loves the xylophone,
And made her own one day
With some water and a spoon—
Hear how her bottles play!


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What You’ll Need

  • 6 identical glass
    soda bottles
  • metal spoon
  • ruler
  • tape
  • crayon
  • sheet of paper
  • water


How do Xena’s bottles make different musical notes like a xylophone?

We hear sounds because of vibrations in the air. Longer objects
vibrate more slowly and make lower-pitched sounds. Shorter objects vibrate faster and make higher-pitched sounds. When Xena strikes the bottles with a metal spoon, she causes the bottles and the water inside them to vibrate. The bottle with the most water makes the lowest-pitched sound. The bottle with the least water makes the highest-pitched sound.

Science Topics
Physics, Sound
Music, Art, and Language Arts Topics
Musical Instruments
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade
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