Wobble board

From Academic Kids

The wobble board is an instrument popularized by Rolf Harris and is featured in his song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport". Wobble boards, like other instruments including the guitar, can be ornately designed due to its inherent large surface area acting as a canvas and not detracting from its musical capability. They are not commercially made, and most are made by the player. Almost any large, rigid but flexible sheet of material can be used as an impromptu wobble board, although some materials are markedly better than others.

Rolf's instrument was originally made from a special type of wood known as hardboard previously used by a friend for painting on. It is played by holding the board lengthwise, hands at the sides and flicking the board outward, making the characteristic "whoop-whoop" noise. The angle the board is held at and the way the board is 'flicked' can alter the timbre of the wobble board. It is similar to the boards used to make thunder in the theatre of Shakespeare's time.

Rolf Harris said:

"My first Wobble Board was made of 2 foot by 3 foot 1/10 th inch thick hardboard, although they can be made slightly smaller. There is a slight indentation in the middle of each of the short side so the hands don't slip when playing. This needs to be as wide as the hand and about inch deep. It is played, not by gripping the board with the fingers, but by propping it between the palms of the hands and bouncing it, accenting every second rhythm, don't try to play every one. I've found tempered hardboard works best, or MDF board but it must be really thin, or it's too hard to bounce! Good Luck!" (From The Rolf Harris Official Website (http://www.rolfharris.com/fans/qanda.htm) )
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