European Anthem – Ode to Joy on water glasses

During the European week, class 5E experimented a new way to play the European anthem.

Instead to use a piano, a guitar, a flute or other instruments of the orchestra, students of class 5E got a special assignment from the Music teacher, Mrs Mengozzi: they should try to play the Ode to Joy on water glasses.


Making music with water glasses does not involve a big equipment. As long as you have glasses with roughly the same size with water in them, you’ll be able to create a lovely humming noise by rubbing the rims of the glass or make a chime-like sound by hitting the glass with a teaspoon or a pencil.

You can create a musical scale in this way.  Line up eight glasses. Fill the first glass 1/16 full of water to make the highest note in the scale. Fill the second 1/8 full, the third 1/4th full, the fourth 3/8th full, the fifth glass half full, the sixth glass 5/8th full, the seventh glass 6/8th full and the eighth glass 7/8th full. Each glass should follow the sound of the notes on a musical scale from lowest to highest – C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. You can test each note by rubbing the rim of the glass or hitting the side of glass and playing the corresponding note on a tuned piano. Add or remove water until each note rings true.

With a little practice, you too will be able to play Beethoven’s Ode to Joy with glasses of water.

Enjoy this video made by Miki, Class 5E, Primary School.