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Musical Instruments

Explores how musical instruments work with examples.

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You call that Music?

Please Fine Tune Your Sound

Credit: Jason Hollinger
Source: http://flic.kr/p/2ps9Rd
License: CC BY-NC 3.0


If you or one of your family members has played the violin, you can definitely relate to this concept. We go through the excruciating pain listening to them tune their strings every time they have to practice.  For peoplewho don’t play the violin, they may either think 1)their violin must be really bad since they have to tune it all of the time or 2)making the violin sound perfect is a pet peeve for them.  Fortunately, they are not going crazy, nor are their violins bad.  It is all the effects of physics and sounds.  

Creative Applications

1.  Research how a violin works.  Where does the sound from the violin comes from?

2.  Frequency is associated with pitch.  What does tuning the strings do to the strings, and how does that relate to the pitch of the note?

3. Sound doesn’t actually come out of the string.  Research and describe what sound actually is.  

4.  Describe the process that allows the sound to be processed by the brain.

5.  Why do other stringed instruments, such as a piano, not need to be tuned as often?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Jason Hollinger; Source: http://flic.kr/p/2ps9Rd; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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