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Others Like “Sound Frequency Analysis.”

Project Idea
Use sound recording and analysis software to record voices of your family members. Can you figure out ways to identify each family member by just looking at the analyzed sound patterns from their voice (e.g., spectral frequency analysis)? Develop a hypothesis about what types of sound analysis will identify an individual. Have a helper record additional test files of your family members, without telling you which file belongs to whom. Unplug your computer speakers and see if you can… Read more
CompSci_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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
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)
Project Idea
A concert piano. It's a beautiful instrument and a spectacular sight when it's all set up on stage. The first thing you may notice when you first look at a concert piano is the impressive-looking soundboard, that large board on the back of the piano that is tilted up at an angle. It is used for amplification. The sound board greatly increases the volume of sound coming from vibrations of the strings. The soundboard is positioned so that it gathers the sound vibrations coming from the strings… Read more
Music_p022
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have a classical guitar and a personal computer with a microphone, or a tape recorder with a visual display of input signals.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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
Project Idea
Walk into any music store and you'll find a dizzying array of string choices for your classical guitar, including rectified nylon, clear nylon, carbon fluoride, bronze wound, phosphor bronze wound, silver-plated copper wire, Polytetra-flouro-ethylene (PTFE), each in a range of tensions from low to high. There is no single best brand or best material. All have their advantages and disadvantages. A set of strings that sounds "sparkling" on one guitar might sound dull on another, primarily because… Read more
Music_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You will need a guitar, a guitar tuner, and a personal computer with sound processing software, or the ability to run and execute signal-processing programs.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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
Project Idea
thumbnail Noise is everywhere. From the clanking of a cowbell to the din of the lunchroom, we are surrounded by noise. Sometimes there's no way to get away from it, but there is a way to deal with it—constrained-layer damping. By simply creating a layered sandwich of somewhat flexible materials, what was once a noisy cowbell can become a "noise blanket." This science fair project shows you how to transform a noisy piece of metal into a sound-muffling constrained-layer damper. You'll record the… Read more
ApMech_p040
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must have access to a basic PC with a built-in or simple external microphone and sound card (most recent computers include all that is needed), as well as a sound program like AudacityTM.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using the tin snips. Adult supervision is recommended.
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)
Project Idea
Did you know that waves travel through the Earth’s crust all the time? One major source of these waves is earthquakes, although ground motion can also be caused by something man-made, such as a mine blast or nuclear explosion, or other natural events, such as landslides or volcanic activity. How does an earthquake cause these waves? The entire outer shell of the Earth, known as the lithosphere, is made up of tectonic plates that are constantly moving. There are seven or eight large… Read more
Geo_p007
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Familiarity with software and instruments used to collect and analyze data from sound waves is helpful.
Material Availability A sound generator and amplifier that can connect to a loudspeaker are required. An accelerometer is also needed that can interface with computer software to measure the amplitude of sound waves.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
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