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The Physics of Music
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The Physics of Music


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  • 1. The Physics of Music "Music is a hidden practice of the soul, which does not know that it is doing mathematics." - Leibniz Powerpoint Templates
  • 2. Properties of Sound - review• Using precise terms, what is sound ? 1. A sound is a longitudinal vibration traveling through a medium which is heard when it reaches the ear.• Name the part that produces sound. 2. Vocal cords (in the larynx)• Explain the relationship of amplitude and frequency to sound waves.• What type of sounds are absorbed more 12. higher frequencies are absorbed; easily and often? low frequencies pass through• Which decibel levels cause hearing loss? 13. 120 dB and up (also longer exposure and higher frequencies)• Name the parts of the ear and how they 14. Tympanic membrane, ossicles, work. Powerpoint Templates cochlea, semi-circular canals
  • 3. Properties of Sound - review1. Name an animal that can hear infrasonic • Elephant waves.2. How does a medium affect the speed of • Sound travels fast through denser sound? and warmer mediums.3. You see a lightning strike and count just • Every 5 seconds = 1 mile, so the 2 ½ seconds before hearing thunder. storm is a ½ mile away. Calculate the distance of the storm. • Images are created by a machine that interprets high frequency5. Explain how ultrasound works. (ultrasonic) waves that are reflected as they travel through the boundaries between tissues7. Why does the pitch of a siren or horn • The Doppler affect occurs when seem to go up as it approaches you and sound waves get bunched up as then go down as it speeds away? the source of the sound moves. • As an object moves beyond the speed of sound, the bunched up9. How is a sonic boom created? sound waves combine to form a very loud sound. Powerpoint Templates
  • 4. Introduction• Flash Interactive• Physics of sound (music) video• Mongolian Throat Singers Powerpoint Templates
  • 5. Music• Music is made of organized sound waves. Pure tones: regular wave of a single frequency. Noise: no characteristic frequency. Musical sound: wave with its lowest natural frequency (pitch) and harmonic characteristics of the tone. Powerpoint Templates
  • 6. Harmonics & Resonance Guitar Video "beats" Powerpoint Templates
  • 7. Harmonics & Fractions• Overtones• Harmonic Pitches Powerpoint Templates
  • 8. Musical ScalePowerpoint Templates
  • 9. Sound Quality• Pitch describes how low or high a note sounds – determined by the sound waves frequency – instruments each have a varying range of pitches they can create• Timbre is the word used to describe the quality of an instruments musical sounds. – Timbre is what makes a particular musical note sound different from another, even when they have the same pitch and loudness. – Distinct frequencies combine to create the timbre of a note. Powerpoint Templates
  • 10. String Instruments• Examples: – Banjo, violin, piano, dulcimer, steel guitar, guitar, piano, violin• How sound is produced: – Vibrating strings produce musical tones. • Strings can be plucked, bowed, strummed or hammered. • Length of the string determines pitch. Japanese Gaohu Harp – Resonator provides a hollow chamber to amplify the sound. • reflected waves Hammered combine to Dulcimer produce bigger amplitudes Powerpoint Templates
  • 11. Brass and Woodwinds• Examples: – Euphonium, French horn, piccolo, saxophone, oboe• How sound is produced: – A vibrating column of air produces musical tones. • Lips, thin wooden reed, or a circulating stream of air create vibrations at the mouthpiece. • Length of the resonating air column determines pitch. – Valves or keys change the length of the air column. – Flared end of tube increases amplitude (volume) Powerpoint Templates
  • 12. Percussion Instruments • Examples: – Timpani, cymbals, washboard, maracas, xylophone, chimes • Drum sound production: – A tightly-stretched membrane produces sound vibrations. • Instruments are struck (with hand, hammer, mallet, etc.), shaken, brushed, rubbed or scraped. • The size and tightness of the drum head determine pitch. – A resonating air chamber amplifies the sound • deeper column, louder sound • smaller chambers are quieter Powerpoint Templates
  • 13. Note Interactions• Same note, one octave apart – i.e. middle C and the C one octave above on the keyboard• Combined tones produce a unique wave when combined Powerpoint Templates
  • 14. Note InteractionsOdd intervals Even intervals Powerpoint Templates