How to Make an Audio Tape Bow

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
From this How To slide show, you create an Audio Tape Bow that can play distorted audio sounds by running it across a tape head. Learners will open up cassette tapes and used tape players to see how they work. Then, they will dismantle some of the parts in order to create and design a new instrument. The How To includes a video of the sound the Audio Tape Bow makes when run across a tape head. This activity is a great for exploring the way sounds are recorded and the technology used to play it back.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Audio cassette tape
  • Drill and bits
  • Used cassette player
  • Dowel rod
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Some corks
  • Thin piece of scrap wood
  • Screwdriver


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
    • Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Hearing
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Electronics
  • Music


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • Public domain, ,

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0087813