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Try replacing the ice with frozen salt water. Or experiment with other materials. Pudding? Play dough? A piece of celery?

Musical Ice

Have you ever made music by rubbing your hands over a piece of ice? - Natalie
stuff you need
  • Cricket
  • MIDI board
  • Speakers (with audio cable to plug into MIDI board)
  • Alligator clip sensor
  • Ice
  • Something metal to hold the ice: a stand, metal measuring cup, metal rack, or piece of aluminum foil.
  • A piece of metal to use as a handle (for example, a spoon or short piece of pipe)
At least a day before you make your musical ice, fill a balloon or baggie with water, then freeze to make a nice ball of ice.
Ice cubes will also work.

Set up your speakers, MIDI board, and Cricket.

Plug in an alligator clip sensor. (Here's how to make an alligator clip sensor.)
Now make or find a metal base to hold the ice--almost any metal surface will do. The metal, the ice, and wires will connect make a circuit.
Small metal surfaces--like a measuring cup or a spoon (balanced on a mug), can hold an ice cube. If you have a big chunk of ice, try some aluminum foil or a baking rack.

You will attach one of the sensor wires to the metal base and hold other in your hand.

Clip one alligator clip to the base that holds your ice. Clip the other alligator clip to something metal that's easy to hold like a spoon or a piece of pipe.

This is one of the programs we tried.

The note varies with the sensor value.

Hold the pipe (or spoon) in one hand, and touch the ice with the other. What do you notice?

What else can you use to touch the ice? Does the sound change?

Try making a human chain--have one person hold the metal handle, and then hold hands. Have the last person touch the ice.

What else
The idea for Musical Ice came from the Exploratorium

Watch the Ice Therimin at the Mindfest!

How does the musical ice work?

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