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written by Tom Henderson
This interactive tutorial for introductory physics features five "lessons" that introduce properties and behavior of sound waves, resonance and standing waves, and fundamentals of the physics of musical instruments. It provides multiple representations to promote understanding of sound wave patterns and question sets (with answers) that allow learners to self-gauge their progress. It is part of the larger collection of resources in The Physics Classroom website.
Editor's Note: Specific topics include: longitudinal waves, pitch, intensity, the human ear, beats, Doppler Effect, boundary behavior in sound waves, sound reflection/refraction behavior, resonance, fundamental frequency, harmonics, stringed instruments, and air column instruments.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Oscillations & Waves
- Acoustics
= Intensity and Attenuation
= Pitch
- Instruments
= Air Column Instruments
= Stringed Instruments
- Wave Motion
= Standing Waves
= Wave Properties of Sound
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Collection
- Instructional Material
= Problem/Problem Set
= Tutorial
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 1996 The Physics Classroom
No derivatives, commercial use prohibited
Doppler Effect, beats, interference, musical instrument, pressure wave, resonance, resonant frequency, shock wave, sound wave, standing wave
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 3, 2009 by Alea Smith
Record Updated:
January 29, 2018 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 15, 2018
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
T. Henderson, (1996), WWW Document, (https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound).
T. Henderson, Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music (1996), <https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound>.
APA Format
Henderson, T. (2018, January 15). Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music. Retrieved December 7, 2023, from https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound
Chicago Format
Henderson, Tom. Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music. January 15, 2018. https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound (accessed 7 December 2023).
MLA Format
Henderson, Tom. Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music. 1996. 15 Jan. 2018. 7 Dec. 2023 <https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Tom Henderson", Title = {Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music}, Volume = {2023}, Number = {7 December 2023}, Month = {January 15, 2018}, Year = {1996} }
Refer Export Format

%A Tom Henderson %T Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music %D January 15, 2018 %U https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Henderson, Tom %D January 15, 2018 %T Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music %V 2023 %N 7 December 2023 %8 January 15, 2018 %9 text/html %U https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound

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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.

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