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

The Waterphone

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.

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.