Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude
This interactive lesson is the keystone of our AAPT Voice Science Digi Kit. It blends a cell phone oscilloscope app with a digital wave graphing activity from the Concord Consortium to explore how human voice patterns can be visualized as waves. Students will hum and sing various pitches and loudness, using microphones on their phones and computers. The digital tools transform the voice recordings into wave patterns. By viewing graphs of their own voices in real time, learners can deeply explore factors that affect amplitude, wavelength, pitch, and frequency of sound. Can be easily adapted for both middle school and high school.
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Pitch, Loudness and Timbre
The mechanism of human hearing does not operate as a perfect scientific instrument. What we hear as pitch, loudness, and timbre are quite subjective. But we are able to relate these subjective elements to quantifiable laboratory measurements of a sound wave's fundamental frequency, amplitude, and waveform respectively. This tutorial provides in-depth explanations that will allow teachers to integrate mathematics: 1) Measuring pitch of a musical note using a chart of fundamental frequency, 2) Using the Decibel Scale to measure sound intensity. It is highly recommended as content support for teachers and for use in high school algebra-based or AP physics courses. Author Credit: Kyle Forinash, emeritus professor of physics, Indiana University Southeast.
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