Sounds of Music is an event in which two participants build one homemade instrument, play a scale on their instrument, complete a volume score test, and explain the physics of sound through a written test. The main part of Sounds of Music is the building of the instrument. You will need to build one durable, original, and creative instrument with which you will play a scale. You will also need to answer questions about the theory of your instrument and how you built it. For and , participants are required to build one instrument of any type, barring electrophones.
Sample K-6 Events
The instrument must be played in such a way that all energy put into the instrument to make a sound must originate from the team. This differs from rules prior to the season, which had competitors building two instruments.
Science Olympiad - Div C. Mousetrap Vehicle 18-19
When building your instrument, you'll have to be creative. No commercially available instrument parts are allowed, i. Experiment with different materials.
PVC pipe is a common material that is cheap and easy to make into an instrument; PVC pipe aerophones are very common. Other instruments very commonly made include idiophones xylophone, marimba, etc. You will also want to experiment with materials if you are building one.
Try different types of metal pipes and different types of wood to see what works best. There are several resources online that will give you the exact length to build the bars, but you will need to fine tune these so you get the exact pitch.
When building a idiophone or other percussion instrument that is hit, you will also need to consider the material with which you build the mallets. If you use a soft material such as rubber or yarn, the percussion instrument could be drowned out by a wind instrument.
If you use harder materials, the instrument will have a harder, clearer tone, but the tone quality may suffer. Once again, you'll have to experiment to see what suits your playing style best.
Remember that your instrument MUST be in the allowable range. For the season, the range of the instrument must be from F 2 to F 3. See this page for more about determining pitch.
There are four basic classifications of instruments under the Hornbostel-Sachs system as shown below. The fifth, electrophones, was not included for several years after the creation of the Hornbostel-Sachs system and is not used in competition. An idiophone is a instrument in which the vibration of the instrument itself is what creates sound.
They are generally the percussion instruments that are hit, shaken, or rubbed to create sound. Resonators can also be added to these instruments to create a sound.
In this event, the major type of idiophones created are xylophones, marimbas, or chimes. When you double the length of a bar, you cut the frequency in a fourth put it down two active octaves. So in these instruments, to go down an increment of the scale, you must decrease the note length by a factor of the 24th root of 2. Membraphones are instruments which have a vibrating membrane over a resonator to create sound.
User account menu
These instruments are generally harder to build and perfect. In aerophones, sound is produced by a vibrating column of air within the instrument. The wind that goes into the pipe vibrates, creating a sound wave. Pitch is changed by the changing size of the column of air. In chordophones, sound is produced by a vibrating string. The vibration of strings produces standing waves producing fundamental frequency as well as harmonics the relative abundance of these make up the timbre of your instrument.
Resonators added to the string will enhance the sound by vibrating sympathetically with them. In chordophones, the wavelength made is twice the length of the string.
Since we know that velocity equals frequency time wavelength, after assuming that the velocity of sound in the string will remain constant, we find that when one doubles length, frequency will be cut in half note goes down an octave.
You can use this fact for starting your tuning. Unfortunately, you'll need some fine tuning and many hours to get your instrument to play accurate notes due to imperfections in string and to the fact that there will be different amount of tension on different strings when playing different notes on single guitar string, there will be different amounts of tension. This will result in different velocities of sound in the string, making this form of tuning less reliable.
Concerning electrophones, sound is produced by an electrically powered oscillator. It is highly unlikely anyone will build this type of instrument for Sounds of Music anytime in the near future, and it is also barred from competition under rules.
While much of the work for the Sounds of Music event takes place before the competition, in the form of building, tuning, and practicing, only one part actually counts for Science Olympiad, and that is the competition. This section is not a replacement for the Science Olympiad rules manual.
Science olympiad 2014 rules manual division bar
Please read the Science Olympiad rules manual to get exact and official descriptions of each section. The most points are given for the written test. In a separate room from the instrument testing area, you will have at least 20 minutes to complete at least three questions from each topic:. When you arrive in the competition room, you will have two minutes to set up. This normally isn't a problem, as most instruments are mounted or otherwise ready to play.
Some teams do bring xylophones that are not mounted or otherwise connected, and these teams will likely use the majority of the time. The room will likely have very few resources. Some competitions may provide a table or desks to place xylophones on, but it may be smart to bring your own portable table just in case. When setting up, competitors and their instrument have to be 1 meter away from the testing equipment, and failing to do so may result in a penalty. During the setup time, introduce yourself to your judges.
Provide information such as your name, your school name, the type of the instrument you created, and the scale you will be playing. The main testing component will be a pitch score test. You must play a major scale and hold each note for three seconds. The scale must start between F 2 and F 3 inclusive, and you will have to tell your event supervisor the note name and number of your first note. If you wish to skip any notes, you must declare that beforehand.
You will be scored for each note. Multiple attacks on each note are allowed, and the average pitch on each note counts for the score. Notes from the fifth to eighth note of the scale must rise by an octave, so if you began on C 3 , your scale would be C 3 , D 3 , E 3 , F 3 , G 4 , A 4 , B 4 , C 5 , with the fifth note G 4 and beyond more than an octave above the first four notes.
Different levels of competition have different threshholds for how far your instrument can deviate from the target pitch. Pennsylvania has developed its own Internet-based application for measuring pitch.
You or your partner will play four measures of an arrangement of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on their instrument. You have 15 seconds to play the arrangement, and event supervisors will assign points based on whether you play the piece within the time limit, and on whether you play with acceptable pitch and rhythm according to the arrangement in the rules manual.
You may choose to play an additional pitch on your instrument for bonus, which is worth 5 points of all-or-nothing credit. The bonus pitch must match the pitch of a note on the staff located an octave or more above or below the range of the scale played in the pitch test.
The last portion of the event is the log score. You must submit logs containing a list of materials used, data showing how you changed an aspect of your instrument to tune one of your pitches with at least 5 data points , proper labeling, and a diagram that shows how the instrument is played.
The highest score possible for this event, according to the rules, is total. Sounds of music tests jump from topic to topic depending on the test writers. While the physics of sound is guaranteed to surface, tests have in the past borrowed anything related to sound from a broad umbrella of disciplines beyond merely physics.
Both partners should expect to study a variety of content beyond physics, music theory, and instrument building. With this in mind, it is important to not lose motivation because of random questions, as most teams will also face comparable difficulties in grasping seemingly random content.
From the music of a concert, the creak of a door, to the gusts of the wind, sound permeates our world. This is true quite literally—sound occurs when molecules of air vibrate, jostling and pushing against each other.
By vibrating, these molecules hit neighboring molecules, which in turn hit and bump their neighbors into vibration as well. This molecular chain continues to radiate outward from the original source, and, if the vibrations find their ways to our ears, we may hear it as sound.
This process of vibration is a form of a wave. A wave that propagates through a physical material has a wavelength, frequency, and speed. For instance, if 15 wavelengths of a wave pass by a point in 3 seconds, the frequency there will be 5 cycles of the wave per second, or 5 hertz, which is the SI unit of frequency. Sound waves in air are longitudinal waves , which are defined by motion of the wave parallel to the motion of the medium the particles that transfer the wave.
Longitudinal waves are not the only type of wave vibration. There are also transverse waves , where the motion of the wave is perpendicular to the motion of the medium. Some media are even capable of carrying both types of waves, like a Slinky. It is worth being aware that transverse and longitudinal waves are not the only type of motions undertaken by a wave—water waves are neither transverse or longitudinal, as particles move in both the perpendicular and parallel direction.
For musical instruments with a definite pitch, making music requires the capacity to generate a a pitch and sustain it long enough for the human brain to interpret it as potentially musical. All pitches are associated with a frequency, which the instrument must produce.
Most instruments can produce a variety of frequencies for a single pitch. Often, but not always, the frequency you hear is the fundamental frequency , which is the lowest of the frequencies produced. The frequencies are higher than the fundamental, and so we accordingly call them overtones.
Sounds of Music
The frequencies at which standing waves can occur i. If all partials are integer multiples of the fundamental, we may also call them harmonics. The reason for overtones is that standing waves of different lengths can be fit onto a single musical instrument:. We usually refer to pipes with both ends open as open pipes , and pipes with exactly one end closed as closed pipes.