The Kid Should See This

The Waterphone, an inharmonic, otherworldly instrument

Watch more with these video collections:

Invented by Richard Waters in the late 1960s, the waterphone is an unusual instrument that often contains a bit of water to help create its signature sound. Used in a variety of movies and albums, the instrument is often associated with otherworldly, mysterious, and/or suspenseful moments. From wikipedia:

A waterphone (also ocean harp or AquaSonic waterphone) is a type of inharmonic acoustic percussion instrument consisting of a stainless steel resonator bowl or pan with a cylindrical neck and bronze rods of different lengths and diameters around the rim of the bowl…

Several sizes and design variants of the instrument exist. It is generally played in a seated position by a soloist and either bowed or drummed, played as a friction or struck idiophone, with movements to affect the water inside. This combines the resonant characteristics of the bowl and rods in combination with the movement of the water.

Via Todd Barton, the instrument demoed above is a bass waterphone made by Brooks Hubbert. Watch as it’s both bowed and drummed.

Next, watch Boomwhacker Bach: Prélude n°1 aux tubes musicaux.


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...

The Octobass – What does this huge instrument sound like?

Rion Nakaya

This may be The World’s Largest Tuba

Rion Nakaya

Glass Frog – Songs for Unusual Creatures

Rion Nakaya

The Wanamaker Organ, the world’s largest musical instrument

Rion Nakaya

Tiger Rag on a homemade Emphatic Chromatic Callioforte

Rion Nakaya

What is a Hurdy Gurdy?

Rion Nakaya

The Toy Piano Virtuoso: Margaret Leng Tan

Rion Nakaya

Playing Against Type: The Typewriter Orchestra

Rion Nakaya

This festive robotic glockenspiel plays Christmas songs on demand

Rion Nakaya

Get smart curated videos delivered every week.    
Subscribe