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Music Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
Does listening to classical music help or hinder concentration and performance on cognitive tasks? You'll need help from a teacher to design two short, age-appropriate worksheet tests for this experiment. The tests should be of equal difficulty. You'll also need the cooperation of several additional classroom teachers in order to test enough students (at least 50-100, see the Science Buddies resource: ). Half the students will take test A while listening to classical music and test B with no… Read more
Music_p003
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Here's an interesting way to get some music into your science fair project. What predictions would you make about people with relative pitch? Read more
Music_p015
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Access to a piano
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this project, you'll investigate the physics of standing waves on guitar strings. You'll learn about the different modes (i.e., patterns) of vibration that can be produced on a string, and you'll figure out how to produce the various modes by lightly touching the string at just the right place while you pick the string. This technique is called playing harmonics on the string. By the way, we chose a guitar for this project, but you can do the experiments using any stringed instrument, with… Read more
Music_p009
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you'll need a guitar (or other stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear harmonics by picking (or plucking) the string while lightly touching it in just the right place.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is a rockin' project for guitarists with an interest in the physics behind the music. Have you ever wondered why the pitch of the note changes when you fret the string? You can find out for yourself with this project on the fundamental physics of stringed instruments. Read more
Music_p010
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need a guitar (or other stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string while changing its effective length by fretting (or fingering) it.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is a great project for a musician who is interested in the physics of stringed instruments. If you've ever played an acoustic guitar, you may have noticed that picking a single string can make one or more of the other (unpicked) strings vibrate. When this happens, it's called sympathetic vibration. What intervals lead to the strongest sympathetic vibrations? Find out for yourself with this project. Read more
Music_p011
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need a properly tuned acoustic guitar (or other acoustic stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string while changing its effective length by fretting (or fingering) it.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz once said, "The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument." Check out this project to learn about sympathetic vibrations, one way to make piano strings sing. Read more
Music_p012
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you'll need a piano which is in tune. You'll also need to know enough about the piano to find notes by their letter names.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
If you like playing electric guitar, this could be a cool project for you. Have you ever wondered how an electric guitar works? In this project you'll wind one or more of your own electric guitar pickups and test them out in an inexpensive electric guitar. How will the sound change with the number of turns you use in the coil? Or with the strength of the magnets you use? Read more
Music_p004
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you'll need an inexpensive electric guitar in which to install and test the pickup(s) you make. You'll also need a guitar amplifier.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision required when potting (melted wax-coating) the pickup
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this project you'll learn how to make a piezoelectric pickup for acoustic guitar using inexpensive components. You can then connect your acoustic guitar to an amplifier, and record your own music. If you are interested in electronics and like playing acoustic guitar, this could be the perfect project for you. Read more
Music_p005
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You need to know at least the basics of playing guitar to do this project. You'll also need an inexpensive acoustic guitar and an electric guitar amplifier.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
Do violin students have better relative pitch than piano students? Since the violin requires the player to choose the correct location to stop the string in order to sound the proper note, you might think that violin players would, as a result of practice, have better ear training than piano students. On the other hand, you could argue the opposite viewpoint, since piano students would have the benefit of hearing correct intervals (assuming that the piano is in tune). Which hypothesis do you… Read more
Music_p002
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Science Fair Project Idea
Beats are a pattern of oscillating sound intensity (i.e., the volume of the pattern grows and fades with a regular cycle). They occur when two tones of almost equal frequency interfere. People can perceive beat frequencies below about 7 Hz. Figure out how to create sound files to play pure tones on your computer. Create files with a pure tone of one frequency in the left channel, and a pure tone of a different frequency in the right channel. Systematically explore different frequency… Read more
Music_p001
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
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