Peripole Presents: Musical Exploration Lesson 4 "Slide Whistles"

Posted by Rei Murray on September 29, 2020

Integrating Music and Science, a Musical Exploration series by Peripole




Title: Sound from Slide Whistles


Category: Wind

Components: Two or more different slide whistles (ex: one plastic, one metal)

Controlled Factors: Playing technique

Variable factors: Design and construction



Things to Investigate

1. Play each instrument.


2. Blow into each instrument, pulling the plunger all the way out.

  1. 3. Blow into each instrument, gradually working the plunger first out and then in.

  1. 4. Compare the appearance and construction of each instrument.


  3. 5. Blow into each instrument first lightly, then hard.

  1. 6. Blow into each instrument, holding a single note as long as possible.

  1. 7. Play a simple tune upon each instrument.







1. Is there a difference in sound from one to another?

  2. 2. Is there a difference in pitch?
    How do you explain this?

  4. 3. Can you control the notes produced?
    How does changing the length of the air column affect pitch?

  6. 4. Is there a relationship between pitch and shape of mouthpiece, pitch and length of instrument?
    Does the construction affect the quality of sound?


  7. 5. What is the effect of energy upon pitch and intensity?

  9. 6. Do design and construction have an effect upon the duration of the sound produced?

  10. 7. What differences are found?
    Is the quality the same?