How are sounds made?

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How are sounds made?

In physics, sound is a vibration that typically propagates as an audible wave of pressure, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. (

To demonstrate how different variables affect sound, we can use a metal spoon to hit glass vessels containing varying amounts of water to "play music". We can also produce the same effect by blowing over bottles (which creates a small air column) which contain more or less amounts of water. Sample guide questions for this activity are given below:

  • How are the sounds different?
  • How do we create sounds with a lower pitch?
  • How do we create sounds with a higher pitch?


Teachers may start the lesson by explaining that vibrations can cause sounds, and that sounds can also make materials vibrate. Students can then use this activity to play with varying vibrations to create different types of sound.

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