Sunday, August 5, 2007

Whack Them and They Go BOOM!

Joy recently purchased the coolest musical instrument you can buy for your child. I'm not kidding. These things are so addictive you'll be wrestling your child for the chance to play with them.

They are nothing more than plastic tubes that have be cut so when you hit them they produce fixed pitches on the diatonic scale. So when you hit the red tubes, you get a "C," the orange one gives you a "D," and so on. And when I say "hit," I mean "hit." You get to smack these things on the wall, the floor, the table, your arm, your child's head, anything really and you get a note. Whack three together and you can make a chord. Sure it comes with mallets, but where's the fun in that?

Best part? The name - Boomwhackers! Doesn't it just make you want to whack the tubes and yell "BOOM!"? Ok, maybe it's just me, but Sam's doing it too.

You also get a black plastic cap that drops the pitch produced an octave, a cap they call the "Octavator," which when combined with Boomwhackers makes these things sound like they will either save the world or take it over (The Octavator is attacking with his Boomwhackers! Take Cover!")

The octavator works on elementary Partchian physics - the octave is produced by vibrating something at twice the length. So that got me to thinking what would happen if they made justly tuned Boomwhackers? Even Boomwhackers to Partch's 43-note-to-the-octave scale. How impossibly cool would that be and how impossibly much could we mess with kid's musical training for life? I tremble at the thought.

Anyway, head over here for a sample of what the Boomwhackers can sound like. And then go buy a set!


lauragayle said...

Hey, the version of "Saints" on the page was fun.

I think we should start a combo of percussion wanna-bes. I think having played the BIG cymbals in college marching band qualifies me. ;)


jeanetta said...

ahhh yes boomwhackers are the funnest!!! we had them with our childrens choir in san antonio. the best part was our choir diretor..and her name was joy no less, always made the kids take the boomwhacker pledge. you had to hold the boomwhacker in your right hand with you other hand over you heart and promise to not misuse the boomwhacker as a weapon or other such. the kids always got a kick out of that. i always wanted to incorporate them into some kind of "stomp" rendition but we never got around to that. and i just love saying boomwhacker.

Andrew said...

I totally want our church choir to use Boomwhackers! But where is the fun if you can't use your head to make music?

And I played marimba once in high school, Laura. Does that mean I can join your group?