The Influence of Latitude on Music

4.0 based on 10 ratings

Updated on Jan 07, 2013

Grade Level: 6th to 8th; Type: Social Science


This project compares music from several different countries to determine if there is a correlation between tempo and latitude.

Research Questions:

  • Is there a weak correlation between tempo and latitude?
  • Is there a strong correlation between tempo and latitude?
  • Are there other factors like history or culture that could weigh in?


  • Internet access
  • Pen or pencil
  • Lab notebook

Experimental Procedure

  1. Listen to 20 different national anthems from countries around the world. Click on this link to find a database of national anthems:
  2. Find the tempo, also known as the beats per minute (bpm), of each song. Do this by clapping out a beat for ten seconds and multiplying that number by six, or use the free music software listed in the references. Record each anthem's bpm in your notebook.
  3. Use the internet to research the latitude of each country.
  4. Graph each country's anthem's tempo and latitude on a scatter plot.
  5. Analyze your data. Was there a weak correlation? Was there a strong correlation? Were there any surprises?
  6. Could any other factors have affected the results?

Terms/Concepts: tempo, beats per minute (bpm), latitude, scatter plot, correlation


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