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An introduction to the cuica (pronounced KWEE-kah), a small friction drum used in Brazil's Carnival parade.

A detailed demonstration of how to make this small friction drum, including a discussion of materials needed and how different kinds of materials make for cuicas that produce different sounds.

The science behind this musical instrument, including the concepts of sound, vibration, resonance, and amplification.

An introduction to a crowd-pleasing noisemaker called a sound sandwich, which you can adjust to raise or lower its pitch.

A detailed demonstration of how to make this primitive wind instrument using little more than a straw, two craft sticks, and some rubber bands.

The science behind this instrument, including a discussion of how vibration produces sound, and how long, massive objects vibrate slowly and produce a low-pitched sound, while shorter, less massive objects vibrate quickly and produce a high-pitched sound.

An introduction to an instrument much like a saxophone but made of a water bottle and a paper tube.

A detailed demonstration of how to make the saxophone-like membranophone, including a discussion of materials needed.

The science behind the water bottle membranophone, including a discussion of how air vibrates the instrument's membrane, producing sound.

PETER WHITEHEAD is an instrument builder, performer, and composer. His singular instruments, often based on folk instruments from around the world, feature unusual found materials. Among his many instruments are the Heart Banjo, made from a baking tin; the Lawn Lyre, made from an old lawnmower and a metal oil pan; and the Spoonharp, made from a five-gallon metal drum, a eucalyptus branch, and kitchen spoons. Originally from England, Whitehead is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founding member of the Mobius Operandi performance group, he also performs regularly with Closer To Carbon, an improvisational trio.