# Build Your Own Xylophone Out of Copper Pipe

 Areas of Science Music Difficulty Time Required Average (6-10 days) Prerequisites None Material Availability Specialty items: Tube and pipe cutter wheel, or hack saw. Cost Low (\$20 - \$50) Safety Adult supervision required to cut the copper pipe.
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

## Abstract

Did you know that making a musical instrument is not just an art, but a science, too? You can discover just how scientific by building your own xylophone (or a set of chimes) from copper pipe. First you'll need to do some research about the math and physics involved in the sounds of a xylophone. For example, there are equations that describe the transverse (side-to-side) vibrations of a pipe. These vibrations create the sounds you hear. So, to get specific sounds, xylophone makers must apply these equations to calculate the correct length of pipe for a given note. Can you use these equations to build a xylophone with eight pipe lengths representing the C major scale (do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, do)? How should the pipe lengths change if you want to build a xylophone that plays a different scale? For help on how to actually build the xylophone, and more information about the equations you'll need, read the article by David R. Lapp, listed in the Bibliography. You might just find that playing with equations is music to your ears!

## Bibliography

• Lapp, D.R. (2003, July). Building a copper pipe "xylophone." Physics Education. Retrieved March 5, 2014.

## Share your story with Science Buddies!

General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

### MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Build Your Own Xylophone Out of Copper Pipe." Science Buddies, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Music_p024/music/build-your-own-xylophone-out-of-copper-pipe?from=Blog. Accessed 20 June 2021.

### APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2020, November 20). Build Your Own Xylophone Out of Copper Pipe. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Music_p024/music/build-your-own-xylophone-out-of-copper-pipe?from=Blog

Last edit date: 2020-11-20

## Experimental Procedure

For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk (*) at the end of the title.

## Share your story with Science Buddies!

The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.

## If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:

Career Profile
Any time you hear music at a concert, a live speech, the police sirens in a TV show, or the six o'clock news you're hearing the work of a sound engineering technician. Sound engineering technicians operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in recording studios, sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions. Read more