Fine Arts

Fine Arts (X) - Science (X) - Sound waves (X)

Scale City | Proportions and Music in the Real World

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In this video—through footage of the calliope aboard the Belle of Louisville, a church pipe organ, and various instruments at a recording studio—students are introduced to the mathematical concept that the length of a musical pipe or a string has a proportional relationship with the sound it produces.  In the accompanying activity, stringed instruments are used to demonstrate the concept presented in the video. This resource is part of the Math at the Core: Middle School Collection.

ZOOM | Pitch: Making Guitars

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Vibrations are the basis for all sound. Controlling the frequency of sound-producing vibrations is the key to creating and playing musical instruments. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, two cast members demonstrate how to make guitars out of boxes and rubber bands, as well as how the sounds these instruments make can be manipulated.

ZOOM | Experimenting with a Glass Xylophone

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The cast investigates how the pitch of sound changes when they strike a variety of glasses filled with different amounts and types of liquids in this video segment adapted from ZOOM. When you hit an empty glass with a spoon, both the glass and the air inside it vibrate. You hear these vibrations as sound through the air.

Music | What's Good

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Venture into the private studios of music producers Peter Cottontale and Thelonius Martin to see how they work. Music is scientific: sound is produced when something vibrates, and those vibrations are brought to the ear as sound waves. Learn about the science of sound and discover how good vibes can move you and your kids.

For use at home with your children, see our Science of Music and Sound Lesson Plan!

ZOOM | Kid Musician: Mexico's Guitar Town

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Perfecting the frequency at which a guitar vibrates is important to creating pleasant-sounding guitar music. However, for many, including the boy featured in this ZOOM video segment and the others in his "guitar-crazy" town, guitar music goes beyond simple sound vibrations. Follow along as Andres prepares for the citywide guitar competition and describes the practice and passion behind his beautiful musical performance.

Design Squad: Sound

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Learn about the fundamentals of sound as student teams create percussive and stringed instruments for a local band, in this video segment adapted from DESIGN SQUAD—a PBS TV series featuring high school contestants tackling engineering challenges. In the process, the teams learn about the physics of sound and music and then apply this knowledge to the construction of their own instruments. Watch to find out which instruments the band finds worthy of debuting in their next live show.

Pitch: Straw Kazoo

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In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, two cast members make a simple musical instrument from a straw. Through their exploration, they discover that pitch--how high or low a sound seems--can be altered by simply shortening the straw. This demonstrates the direct relationship between pitch and the amount of vibrating air contained in a musical instrument.

Hana's Japanese Drums

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Drums have played an important role in many cultures for thousands of years. In this video segment from ZOOM, a young girl named Hana talks about her interest in the art of Japanese Taiko drumming and describes the drums and techniques involved in this traditional art form.

Make Your Own WIND CHIME | Full-Time Kid

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Collect some household odds-and-ends and create your own wind chime!

Good Vibrations

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Learn how sound makes noise when air vibrates in this demonstration from Season Two, Episode Three of the Indiana Expeditions TV series. A lesson plan gives instructions on how to make your own musical instruments.

Common Audio Mistakes | Video Production: Behind the Scenes with the Pros

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KET's senior audio technician Brent Abshear discusses what to avoid to ensure good audio.

GPS: Music and Sound

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Maxine and Hannah caught the Omni Theater movie "STOMP: Worldbeat" at the Science Museum of Minnesota. STOMP is a musical group that finds rhythm everywhere. They make music with anything and everything from drumming barrels to sweeping brooms. STOMP not only had them tapping their feet, it inspired an important science question. Maxine and Hannah are curious: how can they make their own musical instruments from simple objects? SciGirls en Espa&ntilde:ola video version and bilingual lesson plans are available under support materials.

Gathering Good Audio | Video Production: Behind the Scenes with the Pros

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KET's senior audio technician Brent Abshear gives advice on where to get started capturing good audio for video.

Microphones | Video Production: Behind the Scenes with the Pros

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KET's senior audio technician Brent Abshear provides an analysis of different types of microphones and their uses.

Duties as an Audio Technician | Video Production: Behind the Scenes with the Pros

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KET's senior audio technician Brent Abshear talks about the roles of the audio technician.

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