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Acoustics and Sound

How do composers "hear" outer space? How did Beethoven compose music when he couldn't hear? Browse lessons and multimedia that explore the art and science of the world of sound around us.

Audio
Meet Ben Burtt, Sound Designer for films like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and WALL-E.
Audio Series
Learn how composers and sound designers use their tools to create or enhance mood in a film or commercial.
Series
Enjoy music? Find out why you can say thanks to mathematics, language, and science
Cuesheet
What do science and music have in common? More than you might think!
Lesson
This lesson introduces students to the instruments of the percussion family.
Lesson
In this lesson, students explore how pitch is altered based on the width and length of the string.
Lesson
This lesson introduces students to the instruments of the woodwind family.
Lesson
This lesson introduces students to rhythm concepts, including the names and symbols associated with music notation.
Lesson
Students study pattern, recursion, Pi and the Golden Ratio, developing their ability to analyze the structure of music
Lesson
This lesson introduces students to the instruments of the brass family.
Slideshow
Learn to identify the strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments that make up an orchestra
Audio Series
How do composers hear space? What does space sound like? Is there music in space? Narrated by Roger Launius of the Space History Division of the National Air and Space Museum, this series looks at the way music and outer space connect.
Flash Interactive
Batter up! This multimedia exploration introduces students to the most enduring all-stars of the orchestra: the instruments.
Flash Interactive
A Web interactive that allows students to mix sounds (beats, environment, instrument, music and voice) from the Arab World to create unique audio soundscapes.
Lesson
After reviewing basic music theory, students compose their own music for the touch-tone phone.
This Day in the Arts
January 04, 1950: RCA Victor announces they will manufacture the LP
This Day in the Arts
January 13, 1910: The first public radio is demonstrated in New York, New York
This Day in the Arts
April 24, 1934: The pipeless organ is released to the public
This Day in the Arts
June 18, 1948: Columbia Records unveils the 33 1/3 long-playing (LP) record
This Day in the Arts
June 27, 1895: Paul Galvin is born in Harvard, Illinois
This Day in the Arts
July 01, 1979: The Sony Walkman is introduced
This Day in the Arts
July 23, 1926: Fox Film Corporation buys Movietone
This Day in the Arts
August 26, 1873: Lee de Forest is born in Council Bluffs, Iowa
This Day in the Arts
October 06, 1927: The Jazz Singer opens in movie theaters
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