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Musical Bottles

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Active Time
10-20 minutes
Total Project Time
10-20 minutes
Key Concepts
music, sounds, physics, sound waves, frequency
A person blowing across the top of a bottle.

Introduction

Have you ever blown across a bottle's top and made a pleasant, resonant sound? If so, have you wondered how that note is made exactly? A bottle is actually what is called a closed-end air column. Clarinets and some organ pipes are examples of musical instruments of this type. In this science activity, you will use bottles to investigate how the length of a closed-end air column affects the pitch of the note that it makes.

Credits

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Narrow-neck bottles (3). They can be glass or plastic.
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Water
    Materials for doing the musical bottles activity.

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Active Time
10-20 minutes
Total Project Time
10-20 minutes
Key Concepts
music, sounds, physics, sound waves, frequency