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Others Like “Pitch Perception”

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
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
Science Fair Project Idea
Many sports skills require quick reaction times: think of hitting a 95-mph fastball, returning a 100-mph tennis serve, or blocking a slapshot at the net in hockey. (The Experimental Procedure section below has one way to measure reaction time.) Is your right hand faster than your left? Can you improve your reaction time with practice? Do both hands improve if you only practice with one hand? Try relating your reaction time to real situations in your favorite sport. For example, calculate… Read more
HumBio_p005
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
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
thumbnail Do you love to make music, but do not have access to all the instruments you would love to play? Check out this fun science fair project about the physics of musical sound production. You will make musical instruments with drinking straws, one for each note on a one-octave major scale. Can you figure out the right lengths for a series of straw "oboes" in order to play a musical scale? Read more
Music_p016
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You must have an understanding of waves or a willingness to learn about them in order to do this science fair project. Familiarity with a musical instrument and playing a reed instrument is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
How accurately can people identify the location of a sound source when blindfolded? Imagine the hemisphere of space that extends above your shoulders at arm's length. Divide that hemisphere up into regular sectors and test the ability of blindfolded test subjects to point to a remembered sound source. For example, you could use the beep from a timer held at each test location, and then have the test subject point to where they think the timer was located. Record the magnitude and direction of… Read more
HumBio_p004
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen a great movie and then rushed out and bought its soundtrack? Did the soundtrack bring back the thrill of an action chase? Or the sadness one of the movie's characters felt? Music is a big part of the movie experience. It intensifies the emotions in scenes so that you do not just jump when that hairy spider comes around the corner, you scream! In this music science fair project, you will find out if happy, sad, scary, and action scenes in movies use music with the same… Read more
Music_p026
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must have access to a DVD player.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When someone yells, "Think fast!" and throws you a ball, are you able to catch it? When the bell rings at the end of class, are you the first one out of your seat? Can you make it through a sudden hairpin turn in a video game without crashing? If so, then you likely have quick reaction times. In this science fair project, you'll look at reaction times (how fast people react to sensory events), and see if people who play video games have faster reaction times than those who do not. Read more
HumBio_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a personal computer with Internet access for this science fair project.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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)
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