Sounds are all around us! Your dog barking when the mailman comes, your baby brother crying, or even your favorite music coming out of your headphones are all examples of sound! What is sound made of exactly? Let’s find out!
All sound is made of vibrations, or tiny continuous movements! Have you ever jumped off a diving board? Picture the diving board shaking, or vibrating, after you plunge into the water! Vibrations can be fast or slow, the speed of a vibration is called the pitch. Pitch will determine if a sound is low like a growl, or high like a bird singing! If you put your hand on your throat and hum, you can see that lower sounds are slower vibrations while high pitched sounds are very fast vibrations!
Vibrations travel through the air and create sound waves, moving away from the vibration source in all directions! Our ears pick up on these waves traveling through the air so we can hear and understand sound. The sound waves travel in through your ear canal, vibrating your tympanic membrane and creating vibrations for your auditory nerve to pick up the vibrations. Next the auditory never sends the sound to your brain, your brain then decides if your mom is calling your name or if a train is rumbling by! Without our ears, we couldn’t enjoy beautiful music!
Music is a sound that is universally loved! Knowing that sounds are created using vibrations, we can take a closer look at instruments and how they are used to make beautiful sounds! Stringed instruments like guitars or violins make sound by vibrating the stings, while drums make sound as you strike the surface! All musical instruments are creating a vibration to produce a beautiful sound!
A factor in the type of sound an instrument makes is resonance. Resonance is the bouncing back and forth of sound waves that are created from vibrations. If you create vibration inside of a tunnel, the sound waves will bounce back and forth on the walls of that tunnel, and the sound will continue for longer! This tunnel helps to amplify or make the sound bigger, resonance in action!
Want to make your very own instrument? Use resonance and sound waves to make a roaring cup today!