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Becky McCoy

Lesson Title: Sound – Standing Waves and Pitch Timing: 60 minutes

Target Audience:
11th and 12th grade Physics course

Objectives:
Students Will Be Able To:
• Think about and examine how different musical instruments work.
• Explore tuning forks and which of their characteristics determine pitch.
• Serious play with filling cylindrical beakers to discover how pitch changes.
• Observe how the vocal mechanism can affect the quality of sound and pitch.

The Teacher Will Be Able To:


• Provide students with opportunities to explore more about sound through interaction and
observation.
• Assess student understanding of sound, frequency, pitch, resonance, etc.

Standards Assessed: New York State Standards, Physics


Performance Indicator 4.3: Students can explain variations in wavelength and frequency in terms of the
source of the vibrations that produce them, e.g., molecules, electrons, and nuclear particles.
4.3a An oscillating system produces waves. The nature of the system determines
the type of wave produced.
4.3b Waves carry energy and information without transferring mass. This energy
may be carried by pulses or periodic waves.
4.3c The model of a wave incorporates the characteristics of amplitude,
wavelength,* frequency*, period*, wave speed*, and phase.
4.3dMechanical waves require a material medium through which to travel.
4.3e Waves are categorized by the direction in which particles in a medium vibrate about an equilibrium
position relative to the direction of propagation of the wave, such as transverse and longitudinal
waves.
4.3f Resonance occurs when energy is transferred to a system at its natural frequency.

Misconception(s) Addressed:
• Pitch is related to intensity.
• Frequency is connected to loudness for all amplitudes.
• Waves transport matter.
Becky McCoy

Prior Knowledge: Wave Unit and previous lessons on sound.

Aim: Explore different aspects of sound including pitch, volume, and natural frequencies.

Concept Map Vocabulary: n/a

Necessary Preparation:
COPIES
• Sound Worksheets
• Station Posters

MATERIALS
• Computer and projector
• Two different sized plastic cylinders.
• Water.
• Guitar.
• Tuning forks of different pitches.

SET UP
• Have videos loaded.
• Have “Beats Working” Simulation ready.
• Have water and cylinders prepared.
• Designate where around the room each station is.
Becky McCoy

Lesson Plan

Aim: Explore different aspects of sound including pitch, volume, and natural frequencies.

Physics Push-Up: KWL (5 minutes)


Distribute packets and have students fill out their KWL chart individually using their notes from the last few
classes.

Collect homework while this is happening.

Activity: Singing and Stations (35 minutes)


Materials:
• Computer and projection.
• Station worksheets.
• Station posters.
• Two different sized plastic cylinders.
• Water.
• Guitar.
• Tuning forks of different pitches.

Procedure:
• Notes from lecture should be taken in the notebook.

“What do you have to do in order to talk/hear?” Have students hum or sing and feel their larynx.

5 MINUTES: Show Pictures of Larynx and Palette:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
File:Gray956.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
994.png File:Gray954.png
Becky McCoy

The larynx is the home of the vocal folds which stretch thin and thick when they vibrate to produce different
pitches. The entire larynx sits high or low in the neck to produce a different quality of sound. The palette is
domed or flat to produce different reflection/resonance/quality.

“Different types of singing utilize the larynx mechanism in different ways.”


• CLASSICAL (Marilyn Horne): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTuNUZEFBJk
o Larynx remains low and palette high. Sound reflects through the mouth and resonates through
the head. Sounds echo-y.
• BELT (Defying Gravity, Idina Menzel): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g4ekwTd6Ig (start @ 3:10)
o Belt is like talking on pitch with volume added. The pallet remains flat and the larynx high.
• MIX (Tonight, GLEE): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ-XKY_WU8g
o Mix between both where larynx is low and palette is high, but sound is focused forward so it has
a speech-y quality.

WRITE ON BOARD: pitch = frequency & volume = amplitude

30 MINUTES: “Today we’re going to explore different aspects of sound via different stations. Each station has
a poster (might be double sided) that gives directions and questions to answer. We’ll spend about three minutes
in each station”

Have someone repeat the instructions.

Students count off by 9 and start at their respective stations.

STATIONS: with guiding questions posters and worksheets – 2-3 minutes each
1. Filling plastic cylinders (what happens when you pour water in the big/little? what’s diff? why?
what happens when you tap on the bottom of the cylinder?)
2. Guitar (why is it shaped this way? why is there a hole? what happens when strings are
tightened/loosened? why are strings different?)
3. KWL
4. Tuning forks (show picture of piano keyboard w/ notes labeled and treble staff showing same
notes. use resonance box. have students identify middle c through c up the octave and note the
frequencies. find the wavelengths for these frequencies in air 343 m/s. what’s the relation of the
two “octaves”? why can you hear the pitch at a louder volume than the tuning fork alone?))
5. Beats (show Wolfram “Beats Working”. Identify parts of standing wave – what parts of the two
pitches are interacting? draw the two waves at the anti node and the node. what would you hear
at the node/antinode? try with the tuning forks.)
6. KWL
7. Organ (show picture of organ pipes. have students draw them on their worksheet and draw the
standing waves in them. will longer or shorter pipes produce higher/shorter pitches?)
8. Piano (picture of inside of piano. what changes about the strings? what does this change?
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9. KWL

Students return to table and take 1 minute to finish their KWL Chart.

Activity Summary: Light Travels Faster Than Sound! (10 minutes)


Take students outside with a drum. Have some students stand with the drum and others a generous distance
away. When the drum is struck, it should be obvious that the sight of the drum being struck reaches the
observers before the sound.

Homework: n/a

Exit Strategy:
Hand in work sheet.

Extension Activity: spend more time with the drum or revisit any video or station.

Assessment:
Formative:
• Student discussions in small groups and whole class
• Sound Worksheet responses

Resources:
Larynx Pictures:
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray994.png
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray954.png
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray956.png
Marilyn Horne Habanera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTuNUZEFBJk
Idina Menzel Wicked: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g4ekwTd6Ig
GLEE Tonight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ-XKY_WU8g

Notes & Adaptations:


Becky McCoy

FILLING PLASTIC
CYLINDERS
TAP THE BOTTOM OF EACH CYLINDER.
WHAT SOUNDS DIFFERENT?
FILL THE TALL CYLINDER AND NOTICE HOW
IT SOUNDS.

FILL THE SHORT CYLINDER AND NOTICE


HOW IT SOUNDS.

HOW CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT HAPPENED


USING THE SCIENTIFIC TERMINOLOGY
WE’VE DISCUSSED?
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GUITAR STATION
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
HOW DOES A GUITAR PRODUCE SOUND?
WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THE
GUITAR’S SHAPE?

WHY ARE THE STRINGS DIFFERENT?


WHAT’S WITH THE HOLE?
WHAT DIFFERENT PITCHES AND SOUNDS
CAN A GUITAR MAKE?
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KWL
COMPLETE AS MUCH OF THE “W” AND “L” SECTIONS
AS YOU CAN!
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TUNING FORKS
QuickTimeª and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.

C D E F G A B C

A PIANO KEYBOARD ABOVE HAS THE PITCHES C, D, E, F, G, A, B, AND C LABELED. THE


TWO “C” PITCHES HAVE THE SAME TONAL SOUND, BUT THE ONE ALL THE WAY TO THE RIGHT
IS ONE “OCTAVE” HIGHER, MEANING IT IS EIGHT NOTES ABOVE THE FIRST ONE.

Qu ickTimeªa nda
TIFF(Uncompressed)d ecomp ressor
areneededtose ethispicture.

THE PICTURE ABOVE SHOWS WHAT THE MUSICAL SCALE WOULD LOOK LIKE (MINUS THE HIGHER
“C”) ON A MUSICAL STAFF. EACH NOTE (PITCH) HAS ITS OWN PLACE ON A LINE OR IN A
SPACE.
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LISTEN TO EACH OF THE TUNING FORKS.


WHAT DO YOU NOTICE?
CHECK THE FREQUENCY OF EACH TUNING
FORK. HOW DOES THE PITCH CHANGE
WITH FREQUENCY?

WHAT MIGHT BE THE RELATIONSHIP


BETWEEN LOW “C” AND HIGH “C”?

FIND THE WAVELENGTH FOR EACH PITCH


FOR AIR – 343 M/S.

STRIKE THE TUNING FORK AND PLACE THE


END AGAINST THE RESONANCE BOX. WHY
CAN YOU HEAR THE PITCH LOUDER THAN
THE TUNING FORK ALONE?
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BEATS
USE THE SIMULATION “BEATS WORKING.”

LOOKING AT THE DEMONSTRATION, DRAW


A STANDING WAVE AND IDENTIFY THE
NODE AND ANTINODE.

WHICH PART OF THE PITCHES (FIRST TWO


GRAPHS) INTERACT AT EACH PART OF THE
WAVE?

WHAT WOULD YOU HEAR AT THE NODE


AND ANTINODE?

SEE IF YOU CAN HEAR BEATS ( THE AUDIO VERSION

OF THE BEATS) WITH TWO TUNING FORKS.


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ORGAN

QuickTimeª and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.

IN AN ORGAN, OPEN PIPES ALLOW


STANDING WAVES TO OCCUR AT CERTAIN
FREQUENCIES, WHICH ARE DETERMINED BY
THE LENGTH OF THE PIPE.
WOULD A LARGER OR SMALLER PIPE
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PRODUCE A HIGHER OR LOWER PITCH?

THE STANDING WAVE WITHIN THE PIPE


STARTS WITH A NODE AND ENDS WITH AN
ANTINODE – WHAT WOULD THE DRAWING
OF THE STANDING WAVE LOOK LIKE?

TRY DRAWING WHAT THE STANDING WAVE


MIGHT LOOK LIKE FOR A PIPE 4.6M LONG
(1.25 X λ )?
WHAT OTHER INSTRUMENTS CAN YOU
THINK OF THAT ARE BUILT THIS WAY?
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PIANO

QuickTimeª and a
TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
are needed to see this picture.

A PIANO WORKS BECAUSE A SMALL


HAMMER HITS A STRING. THE STRING FOR
EACH NOTE IS A DIFFERENT LENGTH.
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WHAT COULD YOU ASSUME ABOUT EACH


DIFFERENT STRING IN ORDER TO MAKE
DIFFERENT PITCHES?

WHAT MIGHT BE THE RELATIONSHIP


BETWEEN PITCHES OF THE SAME NAME
(AKA “C” OR “D”) AT DIFFERENT
OCTAVES? AN OCTAVE IS LIKE THE
MULTIPLE OF A CERTAIN PITCH.

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT A PIANO’S SHAPE


AND WHY MIGHT IT BE DESIGNED THIS
WAY?

WHAT DOES THE PEDAL DO IF IT ALLOWS


THE STRINGS TO CONTINUE TO VIBRATE?
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SOUND WORKSHEET
Name _____________________________________ Date ______________

K W L
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STATIONS: At each station follow the directions and


answer the questions on the station’s poster. Record
your thoughts and answers below.
1. FILLING PLASTIC CYLINDERS

2. GUITARS
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3. KWL – WORK ON THE “W” AND “L” SECTIONS OF YOUR CHART.

4. TUNING FORKS

5. BEATS
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6. KWL – WORK ON THE “W” AND “L” SECTIONS OF YOUR CHART.

7. ORGAN

8. PIANO
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9. KWL – WORK ON THE “W” AND “L” SECTIONS OF YOUR CHART.