Musical Jars Experiment

What are Musical jars? What is a Musical Jar Experiment? How does it Work? How to make High and Low Pitch Sound with Musical Jars? How to make Music with Water Glasses and Wine Glasses?
musical jars experiment

Music was invented long ago somewhere in the Paleolithic period (Old Stone Age). There are various theories about the inventor of music. However, music was invented, and it took several faces and forms. One such form is the musical jars. Have you ever tried the musical jars experiment or do you know how to make music with water glasses? If not, no problem, because today you will get to know about how do you make music with glass cups and how to make water glass music.

1. What are Musical Jars?

Different jars are filled with different amounts of water to play music from them. These jars are known as musical jars and the jars used are mostly mason jars. The same phenomenon can be applied to glasses too. The sound of the glasses depends on the amount of water filled in them. (See What is a Mountain Dulcimer?)

2. What is the Musical Jars Experiment?

musical jars experiment 3

This experiment shows how differently filled jars will produce sounds of different pitches. Take a look at the supplies that you will need.

  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Glasses jars of the same shape and size, 5-6
  • Metal spoon
  • Water

The method of the musical jars experiment is given below:

Step 1 – Begin by lining the glass jars in the same line.

Step 2 – Gently tap each of the jars with the metal spoon. You will observe that each jar is making the same sound.

Step 3 – Start pouring water into the jar. Each jar must have different water levels.

Step 4 – To make the water level easily visible you can add different food colors for each jar. It is optional; you can skip it too.

Step 5 – Using the same metal spoon gently tap on the jars again. Make sure to tap the jar hard enough to produce the sound because now they are filled with water. As you hit each jar you will hear those different levels produce different sound pitches. (See How can you Shatter Glass with Voice?)

3. How does this Experiment work?

Sound travels in the form of vibrations or waves that travel through the molecules. In the musical jars experiment, when you tap the empty jars the vibrations and sounds were all the same because there was no difference in the vibrations of the glass. It was because each jar was of the same size and shape. But when you tap the filled jars with the metal spoon, the particles of the jar get disturbed and start to vibrate. These vibrations travel from the jar to the air surrounding the jar, creating sound waves. Different amounts of water in the jar cause different numbers of vibrations, resulting in different sounds. (See How to make Voice Sound Better?)

4. How to make a Low Pitch Sound from Musical Jars Experiment?

musical jars experiment 3
Photo by Elena G on Unsplash

Pitch is the intensity of sound, as to how low or high a sound is to a human ear. It also includes the frequency of the sound waves. When the jar is filled with more water, the pitch is low because the presence of more water molecules slows down the sound waves, making the glass particles vibrate less. When the vibrations are slow, the sound is also low. Also, check out the best way to listen to music on the go.

5. How to make a High Pitch Sound from Musical Jars?

When the glass jars are filled with less volume of water, the sound waves can travel easily to the glass. The glass particles are able to vibrate more easily. The vibrations of the glass in the musical jars experiment are faster, and the sound produced from this glass jar is louder and has a high pitch. (See How To Sound Louder?)

6. How do you make Music with Glass Cups?

musical jars experiment 1

For making music with glass cups, you have to apply the same phenomenon, only the supplies will be a bit different. They are 5/6 glass cups, a pencil or wooden stick, and water. The steps to make music are :

  • Line the glass cups and fill them with different amounts of water.
  • Hit the cups hard enough to play sound from them and not break them.
  • Since a glass cup is more delicate than a glass jar, you will have to use a pencil or a similar-sized wooden stick or spoon. (See What Does Gangnam Style Mean?)

7. How to make Water Glass Music?

For this, you can take any ordinary water glasses and apply the musical jars experiment. Everything will be the same, but you can adjust the number of glasses as per your choice. If you want to have a lot of sound with different tones and pitch, you can keep many glasses, each with different water levels. You will notice that you have lots of tone options in comparison to when you had only 5 glasses. (See What is Kazoo?)

8. Can you make Music with Water Glasses and Wine Glasses?

Yes, water glasses, as well as wine glasses, can make music. After all, you must have drunk water from wine glasses too. As you touch the stem of the glass you feel a sensation on the fingers. It is the sound that the glass makes depending on the amount of water or wine filled in it. (See How Do You Play The Sitar?)

9. Does Resonance hold any Place here?

Yes, just like every other item, glass jars, bottles, glasses, and cups along with different other things, have a resonant frequency of their own. Pure crystal glasses have a natural frequency at which they vibrate. When you rub the rim of the glasses, you are adding more vibrations to the existing resonance that results in the production of sound. Also, check out how to play the trumpet for beginners?

10. How to make Musical Wine Glasses?

musical jars experiment 5
Image by g3gg0 from Pixabay

Wine glasses are a bit more delicate than normal water glasses. Let us learn and experience how to make sounds from them as well, just like you did in the musical jars experiment. You can start by collecting the material as per the list mentioned here.

  • Etching cream
  • Syringe (for filling and removing water from the glasses without spilling it)
  • Tape
  • Tuner (in your laptop or Smartphone)
  • Water
  • Wine glasses (preferably cheap ones not the expensive ones from your mother’s cupboard)


Step 1 – You will begin with tuning the glasses. Download the tuning app on your phone or laptop.

Step 2 – Move your finger on the rim of the empty glass and see which note it plays while being empty. Mark the notes on the glass with a thin slit of sticky note

Step 3 – Now, add a little water and then again check the note. Stop filling the water when you reach the tone and note that you want and then mark it with the sticky note slit. For example, note D plays when the glass is filled with 30 ml of water

Step 4 – Now cover the glass with masking tape and leave places for water markers

Step 5 – Spread etching cream with a paintbrush. Wait for 1 minute (60 seconds) before washing off the cream. Don’t worry due to etching cream the masking tape will come off too

Step 6 – Now, your distorted wine glass is ready. Each distortion is a mark of the level of water required to play the different notes. 

Now you know how to make music with water glasses as well as wine glasses. You can try the musical jars experiment too to experience the difference in tones produced from jars and glasses. Share this article on how do you make music with glass cups and how to make water glass music with kids in your friends and family groups. But I am sure that adults will love the idea too. (Also read Top Flash Mobs around the World)

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