Science Project:

One-Man Drinking Glass Band

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  • 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.

Terms

pitch: sound quality

vibration: a quivering movement

frequency: the number of sound waves in a second

Concepts

Sound is create by waves of vibrations. The pitch can be changed by changing the frequency of vibrations.

Research Questions
  • 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?

  1. Gather the necessary materials.
  2. Pour water into one of the glasses. Gently tap on the side of the glass. Listen to the sound.
  3. 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.
  4. Experiment using more and less water in the glass. Record the results.
  5. 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.
  6. Experiment with the different sounds. Record the results.
  7. Use the different sounds from the glasses to play a familiar song such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “Happy Birthday.”
  8. Practice until you can play the song smoothly. Record the results.

Websites

Science of Music at www.exploratorium.edu/music/

The Soundry at Thinkquest.org

Creating Music at http://www.creatingmusic.com

Author: Nancy Rogers Bosse
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