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Music and science have many connections. Music is made up of sound waves (i.e. sine waves) and as the waves travel through the air, the waves reach our ears and we HEAR the sound.  There are other ways sound can travel – through different objects.


Inquiry Question…

What happens when we place a tick-tock alarm clock on a desk? Is it a loud or soft sound?

Place one end of a yard stick on your desk and the other end to your ear. Is the sound of the clock louder or softer? Why?

The clock sound is louder because  the yard stick has become a sound conduit. The sound waves travel up through the stick and directly to your ear. Can you think of other objects that make it easier for sound to travel through?

 Videos on Science and Sound

Thanks to E. Holder for submitting the following videos for ways to explore music and science in your classroom.

Cymatics is the science of sound patterns.

Cymatics – Bringing Matter To Life With Sound (Part 1 of 3)

This video is from the 60’s by Swiss scientist Dr. Hans Jenny.  It gives helpful background on the subject of cymatics.

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Color of Sound

This is a good starter for showing how we can SEE sound.

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Simple cymatics experiment

This video demonstrates a simple cymatics experiment. Watch to see how the patterns and complexity changes with the frequency.

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How to Make a Cymatic Sounder

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Cymatics Experiment Mozart “Una Donna a Quindici Anni”

This video demonstrates the different shapes you can make using a simple DIY tonoscope (as above) and the human voice

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Seriously Mad Vocal Experiment – Cymatics

This demonstrates the use of a drum head and the human voice.

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Have more videos you would like to see on this list? Drop us an email: info at

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