Physical Science

Unit 3: Energy on the Move

Musical instrument

Project Type - Model

Student Task:
Ask student to design their own creative musical instrument. Each instrument should demonstrate a full scale and be able to be tuned to the proper pitch. Applying appropriate physics terms, students should be able to explain how their instrument produces a variety of sounds. Using a simple musical score ("Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," for example) have students participate in an all-class orchestra with the physics musical instruments.

Possible Instrument - Shoe Box Guitar
Shoe Box with the lid
Large Rubber Bands
Paper towel tube

1) Tape shoe box lid to the shoe box.
2) In the center of the top of the box cut a six inch hole
3) Cut a two inch hole at one of the ends of the box
4) Push the paper towel tube in the two inch hole (This creates the neck of your guitar.)
5) Stretch the rubber bands around the box.

1 class period to create the instrument and 1 class period to explain physics principles.

Visit these web sites for more information musical instruments, sound, and physics.

Characteristics of Sound

Sound Properties and their Perception

Physics of the Plucked String

How Acoustic Guitar Works?


Click here for a rubric to help you score this project. (65.0K)

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