• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Physics Essay: Making Music

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Michelle Clarke 12MA

October 2001

Physics Essay: Making Music

Music is made from a number of sound waves being combined together. These sound waves are produced by the source instrument and can be changed, by adjusting the frequency or speed of the wave. Wave motion can be simply described as a mechanism by which energy is conveyed from one place to another in mechanically propagated waves without the transference of matter. The oscillation may be of air molecules, as in the case of sound travelling through the atmosphere; of water molecules, as in waves occurring on the surface of the ocean; or of portions of a rope or a wire spring.  Waves are changes in pressure of the air; sudden changes in the pressure create sounds. In the case of producing sounds the waves usually travel through the air, as a longitudinal wave.

...read more.

Middle

v = f image06.png

When making music sounds are created, this is due to the travelling waves from the instrument. In the case of a wind instrument such as the recorder the particles that are moving are the air molecules inside the instrument. As the player blows into the recorder the air molecules begin to vibrate, and the wavelength depends on the tube length, or where the covered hole on the recorder is. In any instrument there is a fundamental wave, this is the wave with the lowest frequency that can be produced by any particular musical instrument. This fundamental wave is known as a standing wave, this is a wave that seems to be constant; i.e. it does not move. In the case of a recorder, or other open tubes the fundamental wavelength is equal to twice the length of the tube.

...read more.

Conclusion

The three important factors can all be linked to the frequency via an equation: -

Different instruments use different lengths of string or columns of air to produce different pitches and sounds. For example the Banjo has shorter strings than a guitar so therefore produces higher notes. Other instruments produce many different sound waves at the same time (an oboe for instance) these sine waves combine to create a waveform. This means that several harmonics are produced together to create the final sound.

Michelle   12MA        Page         October 2001

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Waves section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Waves essays

  1. Light is so common that we often take it for granted.

    They are said to be fluorescent (see FLUORESCENCE; FLUORESCENT LAMP). Fireflies and a few other types of organisms emit light by a process called bioluminescence. In this process, chemicals within the organisms combine to produce a different chemical that has excited atoms.

  2. Investigate the relationship between sound pressure level (SPL) and signal amplitude.

    The readings are inaccurate when nearing the end of each setting range. At this stage the graph is inconclusive and cannot be relied upon to suggest any particular theories. There are insufficient results to be able to judge any sort of relationship.

  1. Is the speed of sound affected when it travels threw different temperatures of air

    In the experiment the factors which will vary is the temperature of the air which will be inside an air column, the frequency of the sound, I am going to measure the first and second resonance position, which will be three times as long as the first resonance.

  2. The aim of my experiment is to see what factors affect electromagnetism the most ...

    I would also, as I have said, increase the size of the iron nail to be able to fit more paperclips on it so that I could fit both more coil wraps and more paperclips which would again increase my results capacity.

  1. Investigating the speed of travelling waves in water.

    The same liquid must be used, this being water. Different liquids have different properties, and this may affect the speed and manner in which the waves travel. The distance, from which the travelling waves pass, must be kept constant. If this changes, then the speed calculations would be completely wrong, since the formula for speed is 'distance/time'.

  2. Wave Motion and Definitions

    If the two sources were Light bulbs then one would expect to see Light and Dark areas. This does not occur in practice due to the uneven nature of each wave from the two sources (lack of COHERENCE) and the fact that for light the sources have to be close together.

  1. Physics Case Study - Do Sunbeds Cause Skin Cancer?

    However, I am inclined to trust the article published in the Times more, as I know that the author of that article, has got science qualifications, and has been writing about science for his entire journalistic career, whereas I do not know much about the author of the internet article,

  2. Soil water content in relation to species diversity in a Pingoe.

    25x25 7 8 8 8 7 7.6 6 30x30 7 8 8 8 7 7.6 7 35x35 7 8 9 9 7 8 8 40x40 7 8 10 10 9 8.8 9 45x45 7 8 10 11 9 9 10 50x50 7 8 10 11 9 9 Number of quadrats taken in each zone (corresponds with graph B)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work