ERIC Number: EJ1090088
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Hearing the Music in the Spectrum of Hydrogen
LoPresto, Michael C.
Physics Education, v51 n2 Article 025008 Mar 2016
Throughout a general education course on sound and light aimed at music and art students, analogies between subjective perceptions of objective properties of sound and light waves are a recurring theme. Demonstrating that the pitch and loudness of musical sounds are related to the frequency and intensity of a sound wave is simple and students are easily able to draw the analogies with the color and brightness of light. When considering an entire spectrum, the presence of multiple frequencies and wavelengths of different intensities is perceived by the ear as sound quality, or musical timbre, while the perception of the eye is the tone or hue of a color. What follows is a description of a demonstration that draws the analogy between musical sound quality and the tone or hue of light in which the emission spectrum of hydrogen is considered and actually played as a musical chord.
Descriptors: Light, Acoustics, Demonstrations (Educational), Music Activities, Physics, Intervals, Incidence, Music Theory, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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