Hydraulophone: Water pipe organ


This Hydraulophone is located outside the Ontario Science Centre. I would love to know more about how it works because it sure looks, and sounds, great. I wonder how they play it during those long Canadian winters? Hydraulophone video

Presently the world’s largest hydraulophone is the main architectural centerpiece out in front of the Ontario Science Centre, one of Canada’s landmark architecture sites. It is also Toronto’s only freely accessible aquatic play facility that runs 24 hours a day. (Wikipedia)

Learn more about the Ontario Science Centre

Check out Matthew’s comments below for a lot more information. (PDF links)

12 thoughts on “Hydraulophone: Water pipe organ

  1. matthew_pw says:

    As Steve Mann and company are academics, this project has been well documented in conference and journal papers. To get started, there’s the paper titled “Hydraulophone Design Considerations: Absement, Displacement, and Velocity-Sensitve Music Keyboard in which each key is a Water Jet” that includes diagrams and some of the relevant math. http://www.eyetap.org/papers/docs/acmmm2006presement_as_published.pdf

    The paper presented at NIME 2007 (referenced on the Wikipedia page for your convenience) may also be of interest: “Natural Interfaces for Musical Expression: Physiphones as primordial Infra-Instruments” http://itp.nyu.edu/nime/2007/proc/nime2007_118.pdf

    1. Marc de Vinck says:


      Thanks for all the info……that’s what I was looking for!

  2. David says:

    I took Steve Mann’s course at U of T last year. Really nice and interesting guy. This is just one of his neat inventions. His official site for it is http://funtain.ca/ . If you want anything else let me know!


    1. Marc de Vinck says:


      Thanks for the link!

  3. john says:

    i am interested in producing a reed plate for a “fancy” hydraulophone i get the concept for the rest of it and it is beautiful. i was researching a flaming organ when i found this instrument i am thoroughly impressed. this would be the perfect accent for a flaming bass organ(wood gas powered) super low emission alternative energy in musical for display woohoo!

  4. goooooo says:

    i have to do a music project with a friend. The hydraulophone – AWESOME instrument!!
    But how do you make it??

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