Music is Science - Sound Waves

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Discipline:
Arts & Music
Subject:
Music
Grade:
4

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Music is Science - Sound Waves

Music is Science!

Bill Nye the Science Guy:Clip from episode Music is Science

Wavelength - the distance between peak or crest to crest of a sound wave.

Amplitude - the distance from crest to rest that measures the energy of the sound wave.

Frequency - the number of waves per unit of time.

Vocabulary

Watch this video on Sound Waves

Watch the following video and discover how instruments vibrate to make sound. In the music classroom be prepared to rotate through various experiments on your own to reinforce what you are seeing on the video. Group 1 – Tuning Fork fun! See sound waves in water by placing the tuning fork in the water, move the ping pong ball with the tuning forks vibrations, and touch the turning fork to various objects to listen for amplificationGroup 2 – String instruments – using various string instruments, experiment moving your finger up and down the string changing the length, note what happens to the pitch. Also, experiment with playing strings the same length but different widthsGroup 3 – Water Glasses / Bottle Experiment – experiment with water and glasses by using the pitcher of water to change the amount of water in each glass, tap the glass of water, and listen to how the pitch changesGroup 4 – Metal Instruments – Play various metal instruments such as the cymbals, triangles, and chimes and find ways to play them so they vibrate to make sound and ways to play them so they do not make sound. Experiment with different sizes and see what you notice about the pitch.

Vibration is needed in order for sound to be created. Without vibrations, instruments wouldn’t make sound. Watch how the two works together in The Magic School Bus, Haunted Sound Museum as Carlos uses these clues to help him solve the mystery of why his instrument doesn’t make sound.

Quaver's Marvelous World of Music...

Experiment with sound wave, amplitude, and frequency by changing the dials on Quaver’s oscilloscope. Have fun playing with up to 4 tones to experiment with the fun! Joining the site is free! Don’t forget to watch the step-by-step tutorial provided by animated Quaver for additional tips on playing with the oscilloscope correctly.

Test Your Knowledge!

See what other schools are learning about sound waves and take their test to see how you do!

Tess Watson, “Sound Waves: Loud Volume” March 19, 2007 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attributions

Wessex Archaeology, “3 Sound Wave Terms” December 6, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons, Attributions, Noncommercial


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