Make your own Brass Instrument
by John Bertles

 
 

The French horn is one of the brass instruments in the orchestra. Here's how to build your own simple version - the French Hose!
You will need:
  • A length of hose (garden hose, plumbing hose, etc.).
    If you live in an apartment, you might ask your super to save you some.
  • 2 plastic soda bottles - any size
  • Masking tape or duct tape
Using a sharp knife or sharp scissors (ask an adult to help you with this), cut off the spouts of the plastic bottles, as shown here:

The shorter spout will be the "mouthpiece" of your horn, and the longer one will be the "bell" (the wide end of a brass instrument).
Wrap the tape around both ends of the hose until they are thick enough to fit your mouthpiece on one end and the bell on the other.
Press your lips to the mouthpiece and buzz your lips. If you make your lips tighter and blow harder, you should get a higher tone. Eventually you will discover that your French Hose makes a whole series of tones, from low to high.

VARIATION

All brass players can use something called a mute, which changes the sound of their instruments. You can make a mute for your French Hose by taping a piece of paper over the bell (air must be able to get out, so don't tape it entirely shut!). As you blow, the paper will buzz too!

If you have enough materials to make more horns, try using different lengths of hose to get different notes. If you can build three, invite two friends over and start your own Hose Trio!