Is It a Country Ballad? Listen to the Beat! *
|Time Required||Average (6-10 days)|
|Material Availability||Free software can be downloaded to help measure the beats per minute in songs. See the Bibliography for more details.|
|Cost||Very Low (under $20)|
AbstractHave you ever noticed that hip-hop songs have a fast tempo, while country ballads are usually slow? Do you think there is a correlation between the number of beats per minute (bpm) in a song and the type of music? You can explore whether different genres of music have different bpm ranges by measuring the bpm in several different songs from a number of different genres. Bpm can be measured using free music software, like the one listed below in the Bibliography, or by counting all the beats you hear in 15 seconds of a song and then multiplying that number by 4 (to get 60 seconds worth of beats). Either way, make sure to calculate the bpm for a large number of songs all from different artists (at least 12) for each music type so that you are accurately representing the range of tempos in the genre. The library is a great place to find music from different genres, or check with friends and family, if you don't have a large collection of your own. How easy do you think it is to place a song in a genre by bpm alone? Which genres have the fastest tempos? Which have the slowest? Hint: You're likely to see smaller ranges, and thus have more easily interpreted data, if you use more narrowly defined and specific music styles, like bluegrass or zydeco, rather than country music; and bossa nova or samba, rather than Latin music. For more information on music styles, consult the second reference in the Bibliography.
Cite This PageGeneral citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.
Last edit date: 2017-07-28
This website offers free computer software that can help you measure the beats per minute (bpm) in a song:
- AnalogX. (2001). TapTempo. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/audio/taptempo.htm
A list of different music styles is available at this website:
- Wikipedia Contributors. (2008, June 25). List of music styles. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_music_styles&oldid=221664879
News Feed on This Topic
Ask an ExpertThe Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
Ask an Expert
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Sound Engineering TechnicianAny time you hear music at a concert, a live speech, the police sirens in a TV show, or the six o'clock news you're hearing the work of a sound engineering technician. Sound engineering technicians operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in recording studios, sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions. Read more
AnthropologistWhere do we come from? Why do we walk upright? Why do we behave the way we do? These are just some of the big and fascinating questions that anthropologists try to answer. Anthropologists study all aspects of human life, in every region of the world, throughout all time. They might focus on everything from present-day cultures and human behavior, traditions, and prehistoric cultures to the biology and evolution of humans, or the origin and evolution of language. Read more
News Feed on This Topic
Looking for more science fun?
Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom.Find an Activity
Explore Our Science Videos
4 Easy Robot Science Projects for Kids
10 Robotics Projects Kids Can Really Make!
Toy Sailboat with Keel