Panpipes are a traditional wind instrument from the Andes mountains of South America. Panpipes consist of five or more tubes ranging from very short in length to up to several feet. The panpipes are played by blowing across the openings of the tubes. Learn how to make simple, single-row panpipes capable of playing an octave by using PVC pipe.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- 6 feet of 1/2-inch PVC pipe
- 8 Rubber stoppers for the pipes
- Twine or yarn
- Metric ruler
- Paint (optional)
Cut the 1/2-inc PVC pipe into lengths of 30.5, 27.4, 24.4, 22.3, 20.1, 18.3, 16.2, and 15.2 centimetres. These measurements may seem very precise, but they will ensure that your panpipes play an in-tune octave.
Sand the edges of the cut pipes so that they are very smooth.
Glue the pipes together in order of length so that the shortest pipe is on the far left and the longest on the far right. Match the top edges so that they are even.
Wrap the twine or yarn around the pipes and glue into place. You can also use coloured ribbons, strapping or other materials to decorate the panpipes and help stabilise them. You can also paint your panpipes whatever colours you like.
Place the stoppers in the bottom of the pipes. To play, blow across the open tops of the pipes.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear safety glasses when using a saw.
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