What we hear from all
musical instruments is produced by sound waves. A sound wave is a
form of a physical wave. A wave is a disturbance caused by the movement
of energy from one place to another. The ability to sense sound is
not only essential for survival, but is also a source of pleasure.
Instruments which produce sound
have been around since the dawn of mankind. The earliest instruments
were various kinds of percussion producing instruments in the form of drums,
which were struck by the hand or sticks. String instruments and woodwinds
When a person listens to music
he or she hears many different sound waves. Waves that occur together
may change each other by the process of interference.
The difference between pleasant
musical sounds and noise results from interference. You are able
to hear a radio or "boom box" playing in the next room because waves are
able to move around a barrier such as a wall or door because of diffraction.
The pitch or tone of an instrument
results from the frequency at which the instrument vibrates. Higher
pitched instruments such as violins and flutes vibrate at higher frequencies.
Lower pitched instruments such as tubas or bass violins vibrate at lower
Students have completed some
research on sound and have conducted some experiments. Now try to
use their knowledge of sound to create descriptive terms. In literature,
sound cannot be heard in the pages of a book. Authors must depend
on the power of descriptive language to convert the correct sound.
In the English language, many of these terms help readers understand sound.
Different languages sometimes use other terms because the sound of their
letters are different than those in English.
- Depending on
your student's writing skills, have them write a sentence or paragraph
using as many "sounds" as they can.
- Use the worksheet to
write the sentence or poem. The different instruments can help students
think about the many different sounds that can be produced. You may
want to see how many instruments the students can identify.
- Listed below are examples
of sounds. Continue the list if students want to add more examples.
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