Water melon instruments

Water melons are very versatile; you can create a drum, a stirred percussion instrument and a bubbling musical instrument

Video of Steve Mesure demonstrating how to make a number of instruments from a melon also available to download in quicktime or windows media player format

Water melon Drum

Difficulty of construction: starstarstarstarstar (5 stars hardest, 1 star easiest)

Squash Udu

Ingredients

  • 1x Watermelon (you can also use other sorts of melons, but they need to be quite large)
  • 1x Large kitchen knife
  • 1x Large strong desert spoon or ice cream scoop
  • 1x Large bowl (bigger than the melon)
  • Water
  • 2x Carrots (or similar) for beaters

Cut the watermelon into uneven halves, you need about 2/3 of the melon. Scoop out the flesh, this takes sometime. Leave some of the flesh around the cut-edge, because this helps to weigh down the drum in the water. Half fill the bowl with water and float the watermelon cut side down in the bowl.

If the drum is too quiet, you could try scrapping out more of the flesh. The loudness of the drum varies depending on the properties of the melon skin. As you play the drum gradually lift the edge of the melon out of the water. Not only does this make a wonderful sound, it also makes a louder sound.

Water melon stirrer

Difficulty of construction: starstarstarstarstar (5 stars hardest, 1 star easiest)

Squash Udu

Ingredients

  • 1x Largish vegetable, to contain the objects to be stirred, such as a melon or pepper
  • Handful of nuts in shells, such as peanuts, to be stirred
  • 1x Stirrer e.g. a carrot
  • 1x Kitchen Knife
  • 1x Large strong dessert spoon or ice cream scoop

Cut the melon in half and remove the flesh. Part fill the melon with peanuts. Stir and enjoy.

Water melon water bubbler

I can think of no standard instrument which sounds like this, but we’ve all blown bubbles in drink as a kid, so rediscover the child within you.

Difficulty of construction: starstarstarstarstar (5 stars hardest, 1 star easiest)

Squash Udu

Ingredients

  • 1x Largish vegetable to hold water such as a melon or pepper
  • 1x Large kitchen knife
  • 1x Carrot (or another vegetable you can drill into a tube)
  • 1x Kitchen Knife
  • 1x Drill
  • 1x Long drill bit, say 15mm, long enough to drill a hole lengthways through the carrot.

Cut the melon in half and remove the flesh. Part fill the melon with water. Make a cut across the carrot to create a flat end to drill into. Carefully drill a hole through the carrot lengthways. Blow down the carrot into the water. Even better, you can blow the carrot with a raspberry like you are playing a trumpet. You might need to shape (flare) the end of the carrot to give you a wider opening for your lips to vibrate into. Try and copy a trumpet mouthpiece. Alternatively, place a real mouthpiece in the end – but some people think that is cheating! Of course there is only one tune to play, I’m forever blowing bubbles