Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

The Inverted Glass Harp

We love glass harps – instruments made from wine glasses that are filled with different amounts of water to create a series of desired pitches. In The Inverted Glass Harp, Dan Quinn shows us that empty glasses can also create beautiful tones when they’re immersed in water. Why do these glasses change pitch as the amount of water within or around them changes? From his site:

The inverted harp has less range and can only play one note at a time, but it also has some key advantages: it’s quicker to set up, it’s much cheaper, and it can play “slides” like a trombone. Both the normal and inverted harp basically work the same way. The glass has to accelerate the neighboring water and therefore behaves as if it has more mass; scientifically speaking, you’d say the glass some additional “virtual mass” when it’s full (or submerged). The virtual mass lowers the resonant frequency of the glass, so it produces a lower pitched sound.

There’s also a bonus performance of Blue Danube Waltz at the video’s end. Related reading: Added mass, resonance, and more about inverted glass harps.

File under vibration, resonance, frequency, and glass harp videos.

via @aatishb.

This award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

A colorful Chladni pattern demonstration

Rion Nakaya

Glass through Glass by Alexander Chen

Rion Nakaya

Breaking a glass with sound

Rion Nakaya

Spiders Tune Their Webs Like A Guitar

Rion Nakaya

Odyssey of the Ear, an animated tale of sound

Rion Nakaya

CYMATICS: Science + music = audio frequency visualizations

Rion Nakaya

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah on a Glass Harp

Rion Nakaya

Playing music on a rainbow-colored glass harp – Lernert & Sander

Rion Nakaya

A waterless and chemical-free sound wave fire extinguisher

Rion Nakaya