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Others Like “Guitar Jingle: Discovering the Locations of Harmonics”

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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- Less Details
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
thumbnail Here's a fun science project for anyone who plays an electric guitar. You'll learn about the physics of vibrating strings, and find out why the tone of your guitar changes when you switch between the different pickups. Read more
Music_p006
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this project you need to have an electric guitar and guitar amplifier. You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
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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- Less Details
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 This is a great project for a musician who is interested in the physics of stringed instruments. If you've every 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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- Less Details
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
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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- Less Details
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
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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- Less Details
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 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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- Less Details
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
thumbnail Many things in nature are periodic: the seasons of the year, the phases of the moon, the vibration of a violin string, and the beating of the human heart. In each of these cases, the events occur in repeated cycles, or periods. In this project you will investigate the periodic motion of a spring, using a mini Slinky®. Basic physics will then allow you to determine the Hooke's Law spring constant. Your analysis will also yield the effective mass of the spring, a factor that is important in… Read more
Phys_p064
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail The banjo's roots trace all the way over to Africa. The unique sound that a banjo makes depends, in part, on the resonator. The purpose of the resonator is to amplify and project the sound that is made by strumming and plucking the strings. In this music science fair project, you will experiment with a resonator on a banjo and see if you can hear the difference in sound. Read more
Music_p029
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have access to a computer with a microphone, a spreadsheet program,and an Internet connection. You need to have a basic proficiency with and be able to graph data in the spreadsheet program. If you need help, consult a help guide online or find an adult who is familiar with the spreadsheet program you are using.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Always wear safety goggles and use caution when using tools. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Here is a riddle for you: name an instrument that you play with your hands but never actually touch. Have you guessed the answer? It is a theremin! This unusual instrument makes sound without anyone touching it. How does a theremin work? It has an antenna that can detect the player's hand nearby, and as they move their hand around the theremin, the sound it makes changes based on the hand's position. In this music science project, you will get to use your own mini theremin to investigate… Read more
Music_p035
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The Theremin Mini Kit for this science project needs to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
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