Physics of Sound & Mathematics of Music

Participants and parent volunteers are building a xylophone.

January through March-participants will learn about the fundamentals of sound and explore the mathematical relationships between the size of an instrument and the frequencies it produces. During their investigation, participants will design experiments to find patterns in a musical instrument. They will explore the science behind sound, discover the mathematical relationships that rule the production of sound and music, and will explore how different kinds of instruments, (chordophones, aerophones, and idiophones) produce the same note. At the end of the module, participants will be able to play music with their instrument following mathematical patterns (repetition, transposition, mirror and others). Participants will build 3 musical instruments: a Pythagorean scale monochord; a four-key wind chime; an an equal tempered scale tuned xylophone.

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