The suikinkutsu is a Japanese Water instrument that uses H2O to make beautiful ringing sounds. Make your own water chime orchestra at home!


  1. Fill each glass with a different level of water.

  2. Experiment tapping the sides of the glass gently with a spoon. What kinds of sounds do you hear?

  3. What do you observe? Are there different sounds coming from each glass?

  4. Think about the sounds. Do they make you think of certain colors? Add food coloring to the glasses and have a colorful orchestra!

So H2O, what's Happening?
Vibrations are created when you tap the glass. Vibrations move slower in a glass that has more water, so you end up hearing a deeper sound or tone. A tone is a sound of distinct pitch, quality, and duration. The vibrations move much faster in the glasses that have less water and you hear a higher tone.