Physical Science

Unit 3: Energy on the Move

Musical instrument

Project Type - Model

From radio waves to light waves to sound waves, we are immersed in a world of waves. Sound waves are compressional waves. When a noise is made, nearby air molecules are pushed together by the vibrations. The air molecules are squeezed together like coils in a coiled-spring toy are when you make a compressional wave with it. The compressions travel through the air to make a wave. In this project, you will create your own musical instrument and explain the physics of your musical instrument.

Design your own creative musical instrument. Your instrument should demonstrate a full scale and be able to be tuned to the proper pitch. Applying appropriate physics terms, explain how your instrument produces a variety of sounds. Using a simple musical score ("Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," for example) participate in an all-class orchestra with your physics musical instrument.

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?

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