Difficulty of Project
Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project
Time will vary but may take several sessions to compose a song; an additional day to prepare science fair display
To experiment with sound vibrations to create a simple song
- 8 drinking glasses
- Pitcher of water
- Wooden spoon
Sound is waves of vibrations. Sound vibrations travel at different speeds. The number of times something vibrates in a second is called its frequency. Fast vibrations create high notes. Slow vibrations create low notes.
In this investigation, waves of vibrations are experimented with using water in glasses.
pitch: sound quality
vibration: a quivering movement
frequency: the number of sound waves in a second
Sound is create by waves of vibrations. The pitch can be changed by changing the frequency of vibrations.
- What is sound?
- How can you make a sound with water in a glass?
- How can you change the pitch that a glass of water makes?
- Gather the necessary materials.
- Pour water into one of the glasses. Gently tap on the side of the glass. Listen to the sound.
- Add a little more water to the glass. Gently tap on the side of the glass. Listen to the sound. Was the sound higher or lower? Record the results.
- Experiment using more and less water in the glass. Record the results.
- Set the 8 glasses in a row. Pour about 1 inch of water in the first glass, 2 inches of water in the second glass, and so on until you pour 8 inches of water in the eight glass.
- Experiment with the different sounds. Record the results.
- Use the different sounds from the glasses to play a familiar song such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “Happy Birthday.”
- Practice until you can play the song smoothly. Record the results.
Science of Music at www.exploratorium.edu/music/
Creating Music at http://www.creatingmusic.com