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Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude
written by Caroline Hall
consultant: David Straw
This interactive AAPT Lesson 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. The lesson can be adapted for both middle school and high school. Resource includes assessment with answer key and Student Guide.
Editor's Note: This lesson is part of a larger AAPT Digi Kit collection on the topic of Waves. The Digi Kit "Song Science" would be a great companion activity, in which students make and test their own vinyl record players to further explore acoustics and properties of sound waves.
1 supplemental document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
- Technology
Oscillations & Waves
- Acoustics
= Intensity and Attenuation
= Music Perception and the Voice
= Pitch
- Wave Motion
= Wave Properties of Sound
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Student Guide
- Assessment Material
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Educator
Learner
Formats:
application/pdf
application/ms-word
Access Rights:
Available by subscription
Restriction:
© 2018 American Association of Physics Teachers
Access to the accompanying Digi Kit is available only to members of the AAPT.
Keywords:
amplitude, sound frequency, timbre, wavelength
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created March 7, 2018 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
March 12, 2018 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 5, 2018

Next Generation Science Standards

Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (HS-PS4)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (9-12)
  • Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy. (HS-PS4-5)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Wave Properties (PS4.A)
  • A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (6-8)
  • A sound wave needs a medium through which it is transmitted. (6-8)
  • Information can be digitized (e.g., a picture stored as the values of an array of pixels); in this form, it can be stored reliably in computer memory and sent over long distances as a series of wave pulses. (9-12)
Information Technologies and Instrumentation (PS4.C)
  • Multiple technologies based on the understanding of waves and their interactions with matter are part of everyday experiences in the modern world (e.g., medical imaging, communications, scanners) and in scientific research. They are essential tools for producing, transmitting, and capturing signals and for storing and interpreting the information contained in them. (9-12)
Information Processing (LS1.D)
  • Each sense receptor responds to different inputs (electromagnetic, mechanical, chemical), transmitting them as signals that travel along nerve cells to the brain. The signals are then processed in the brain, resulting in immediate behaviors or memories. (6-8)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Patterns (K-12)
  • Graphs and charts can be used to identify patterns in data. (6-8)
  • Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena. (9-12)
Structure and Function (K-12)
  • The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. (6-8)
    • Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to identify linear and nonlinear relationships. (6-8)
  • Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
    • Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution. (9-12)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)
    • Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that describe phenomena. (6-8)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
    • Develop and use a model to describe phenomena. (6-8)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
    • Use a model to provide mechanistic accounts of phenomena. (9-12)
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information (K-12)
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to evaluating the merit and validity of ideas and methods. (6-8)
    • Integrate qualitative scientific and technical information in written text with that contained in media and visual displays to clarify claims and findings. (6-8)
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs. (9-12)
    • Communicate scientific ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically). (9-12)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. (6-8)
  • Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information (K-12)
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to evaluating the merit and validity of ideas and methods. (6-8)
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs. (9-12)
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
C. Hall, , 2018, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14684&DocID=4864).
AJP/PRST-PER
C. Hall, Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude, , 2018, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14684&DocID=4864>.
APA Format
Hall, C. (2018). Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude. Retrieved May 24, 2018, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14684&DocID=4864
Chicago Format
Hall, Caroline. "Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude." 2018. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14684&DocID=4864 (accessed 24 May 2018).
MLA Format
Hall, Caroline. Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude. 2018. 24 May 2018 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14684&DocID=4864>.
BibTeX Export Format
@techreport{ Author = "Caroline Hall", Title = {Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude}, Month = {March}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%A Caroline Hall
%T Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude
%D March 5, 2018
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14684&DocID=4864
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Report
%A Hall, Caroline
%D March 5, 2018
%T Voice Science: Using Digital Tools to Explore Pitch and Amplitude
%8 March 5, 2018
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14684&DocID=4864


Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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