Get Trombone. Add Water. Let the Magic Happen.

Listener Brian Allen of Lake Jackson, Texas, offers a SoundClip of water in a trombone. Allen says he just wanted to hear what it sounded like; who can blame him for that?

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


We've been listening for sound all around the country and the world. Many of you have taken the time to tell us about some noise - natural, mechanical or musical - in your lives that makes an impression upon you. We call them SoundClips. And today's example is the result of a small, unscientific experiment.

Mr. BRIAN ALLEN (Musician; Artist; Music Teacher; Resident, Lake Jackson, Texas): My name is Brian Allen and I am a musician, artist and music teacher from Lake Jackson, Texas.

(Soundbite of water in a trombone)

Mr. ALLEN: I got the idea to put water inside my trombone and see what happens. I decided to put a little microphone, a tiny, little microphone inside the trombone just to get closer and get inside these sounds.

(Soundbite of water in a trombone)

Mr. ALLEN: There's a pretty cool universal sound inside the trombone.

(Soundbite of water in a trombone)

Mr. ALLEN: I got the idea for this in the bathtub, as the water was draining out leaving the bathtub. As it left the bottom of the drain, you hear the water leaving and also resonating the pipes to this harmonic series, gu-gu-gu-gu(ph) kind of sound, which I found to be almost identical sounding to the trombone.

(Soundbite of water in a trombone)

Mr. ALLEN: I am pretty much obsessed with sound all day long.

(Soundbite of water in a trombone)

(Soundbite of music)

NORRIS: Brian Allen of Lake Jackson, Texas with water in a trombone, and why not? You're tinkering with musical instruments or naturally occurring noises are all welcome, go to and search for SoundClips.

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