Rock and Roll and the Science of Sound

Suggested Grade Level: 5-8 

We typically think of music as an art form, but every note we hear can be understood in relation to the laws of science.  This class examines the basic acoustic principles in the sounds of rock and roll by investigating how all sounds are created by vibrations, how sound travels to our ears through moving air molecules, and how sounds can be represented in a graph by using an oscilloscope or a computer.  Students will learn how the musical notes of instruments are determined by frequency and amplitude and how the shape of a waveform determines an instrument’s timbre.  Musical examples showcase Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees and illustrate how we perceive the various elements of sound.  The class concludes with a live demonstration of digital audio software in which audience volunteers get to record and manipulate their own voices.  

Related Standards: Science, Fine Arts-Music, Mathematics, Technology

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Videos are offered as supplemental content to classes.

Director of Curatorial Affairs Howard Kramer talks about the development and use of the synthesizer in rock and roll.

See below for more videos.

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Click here for teacher research guides related to this class.

 

Selected Song List

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Class Resources

Students learn about the three elements of sound.

Registering for this Class

Complete this form online using the link below, or download and complete the appropriate registration form (listed below) and fax it back to 216.515.1995. A group sales representative will contact you to confirm a date. If a representative does not contact you within 5 business days, please call the Group Sales Department at 216.515.1228.

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Additional Resources

Photo Galleries


    Videos



      We study regions of the U.S. and we look at the culture found in each region, and how music is a big part of a region’s culture. We were able to tie in the lesson at the Rock Hall to what we are doing in class.
      - Dean Ruff, Old Trail School
      My class really enjoyed the [Rock and Roll and the Science of Sound] presentation. It was the perfect example of aesthetic education integration.
      - Cherie Lachowski, Erie Day School