Tuned bottles

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Tuned Bottles
Tuned Bottles (from Emil Richards Collection).jpg
Tuned Bottles (from the Emil Richards Collection)
Other names Pitched Bottles
Classification Percussion instrument (Idiophone)
Playing range
varies (depending on bottles, about one octave near C7 - C8)
Related instruments
musical glasses, glass harp

Tuned Bottles are musical instruments in the percussion family; they are found objects which are subsequently filled with water to create different pitches.

The instruments has the range of at least one octave, as it is possible to perform complex melodies with it (Michel Lauzière has performed Symphony No. 40). The instrument also has been seen in Eurovision Song Contest 2008, song Romanca.[1] In this performance bottles are seen hanging on threads in front of the player; this may improve the sound or add convenience. The range depends on the bottles used but is generally on a high frequency side. It can be made chromatic (12 bottles per octave), or only have bottles required for the music being played.

Empty bottle sounds about half octave higher than the same bottle filled in with water. Combining different bottles, it is possible to reach the range of one octave or more (a typical bottles sound somewhat from C7 till C8, for instance), transposing notes from other octaves into this range.

Tuned bottles were used by percussion legend Emil Richards in numerous performances and recordings and are part of his large instrument collection.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2008, Romanca, video track as seen.
  2. ^ http://lapercussionrentals.com/instruments/bottles-tuned-emil-richards/141