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The group "Walk off the earth" are performing a video cover of "Hello" using some colourful sound generators, that emit sound when being swung (e.g. in seconds 00:05 to 00:10):




What is the name of these sound generators and how are they played?

It might be they are the "Whippy Tubes" mentioned in the video title. (There are two different kinds of colourful tubes used, from which one type must probably be the "whippy tube")

Is there any trick to playing them, or will they emit the same sound no matter how you swing them?

  • What I also would like to know is where I can buy or order tubes like that. Since that's not a good type of question I'm just putting it here in the comments. I'm located in Germany so any german stores or only ordering (worldwide) would be fine. Google didn't help me on that, so hanks for any tips. :-) – Kaadzia Feb 5 '16 at 7:37
  • Such a fantastic video! – NReilingh Feb 5 '16 at 15:29
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It is a whirly tube, corrugaphone, lasso d'amore or bloogle resonator.

To be honest, I was not expecting my search for "whirly music tube" to come straight back like that :o)

If you Google "buy whirly tube" you'll get a fair few hits. I'm not going to link them as I have no idea how good any of the sites are.

In my opinion, "Bloogle Resonator" should be the preferred term. By law. Because how can you not love it?

Is there any trick to playing them, or will they emit the same sound no matter how you swing them?

According to Wikipedia:

The faster the toy is swung the higher the pitch of the note it produces.

...which makes sense. However:

It produces discrete notes in the harmonic series like a valveless brass instrument. To be played in concert as a lasso d'amore the length of the toy must be trimmed to tune it.

So presumably if you want notes from different harmonic series (I don't know enough theory to know what that actually means) you'd need a set of different sizes.

The other tubes that are not being whirled are obviously stiffer, and could just be PVC tubing cut to length; however they are likely to be boomwhackers.

Which are basically PVC tubing cut to length :) but pre-tuned, colourful and commonly available from loads of places.

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  • Hi Whelkaholism, thanks for the term whirly tube. I didn't know that. :-) But I don't think the whirly tubes in the wikipedia-article are the same as the ones used in the video. In the first few seconds you can see the guy with the long hair throwing his tube. It looks different. e.g. it is held in the middle and I am not sure if it is ribbed at all. Any other ideas? – Kaadzia Feb 5 '16 at 10:36
  • It's pretty hard to tell from the video; the ribs could have easily been optimised out by the encoding process. They are certainly being playing in an identical way to the description for the bloogle resonator though, so they are definitely a variant. – Whelkaholism Feb 5 '16 at 10:41
  • Hmm, having watched it and indeed read your question again, they are using two types, will update answer. – Whelkaholism Feb 5 '16 at 10:42
  • @Kaadzia I think they are boomwhackers, I have updated the answer. – Whelkaholism Feb 5 '16 at 10:45
  • I guess you might be right. If one holds a whirly tube (sorry "Bloogle Resonator" ;-) ) in the middle and puts something darker there (like seen in the video) it might look like in the video after all. So some variation of whirly tubes in the one hand and boomwackers in the other hand seems to be what they are using. :-) Thanks. – Kaadzia Feb 6 '16 at 8:42
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I'd say those are boomwhackers...

My piano teacher teaches elementary school music (too) and loves those things.

product website here: http://boomwhackers.com/ (that I have no affiliation with you moderators)

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  • 2
    You should mention that you are unaffiliated to that website. Whenever a person links to a website that sells things the warning lights for a spam answer light up. – Neil Meyer Feb 5 '16 at 17:13
  • @NeilMeyer, I've always heard them referred to as boomwhackers (and I have absolutely no affiliation to the company). It's kind of like Xerox - the name has become generic. – user16935 Feb 5 '16 at 19:45
  • Thanks Stephen. But I think you're referring to the tubes they bang on the surfboard. I was looking for the name of the tubes they're whirling around with their other hand. ;-) – Kaadzia Feb 6 '16 at 8:45
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    Oh gotcha. Well, I'll leave the answer for posterity. what the heck. – Stephen Hazel Feb 6 '16 at 16:34

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