# Music is Science A Childrens Concert for Orchestra Featuring: Douglas P. Droste Artistic Director, Muncie Symphony Orchestra Dr. Patrick Herak Adjunct.

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Music is Science A Childrens Concert for Orchestra Featuring: Douglas P. Droste Artistic Director, Muncie Symphony Orchestra Dr. Patrick Herak Adjunct Professor, Ashland University

Science is testable, systematic, and leads to conclusions based on data. Science is not based on faith, ethics or artistry (however, it can help inform these areas). Music is an example of an art form that can be informed by science.

Sound is produced when objects vibrate. The vibrations cause the air to move, which creates sound waves in the air. If there is no air, there is no sound. Space has no air, so there is no sound in space.

What are different ways to make objects vibrate (and produce sound)?

What are different ways to make objects vibrate? Toot Buzz Rub Hit

What are the major families of instruments?

Strings Brass Woodwinds Percussion

There are several things that make music…musical. Pitch Tuning Dynamics Rhythm Articulation Tempo Timbre Balance *Musicians are some of the best people at multitasking!

Pitch is the relative highness or lowness of a note. The frequency of a wave determines the pitch. Frequency is determined by the wavelength and the speed of the wave. Frequency is measured in Hertz (beats per second)

The frequency of a wave determines the pitch. The longer the wavelength, the lower the frequency (pitch). The shorter the wavelength, the higher the frequency (pitch). The faster the speed of sound

Since pitch is the same as frequency, both scientists and musicians can measure pitch with a tuner.

Frequency is determined by the wavelength and the speed of the wave. When is cold out, sound travels slower. When is is warm out, sound travels faster. If a marching band is playing in the cold, are they more likely to play sharp (high) or flat (low)?

Tuning refers to how closely musicians match pitch. What do you think it sounds like when musicians are not in tune?

Orchestras tune to A=440 Hz (beats per second) Can you tell the difference between A=440Hz and A=445Hz? A=440 Hz A=441 Hz A=442 Hz A=443 Hz A=444 Hz A=445 Hz

Can you tell the difference between A=440Hz and A=445Hz? Does the yellow box help? A=440 Hz A=441 Hz A=442 Hz A=443 Hz A=444 Hz A=445 Hz

Dynamics (loud or soft) can be affected when instruments do not match pitch (frequency). Here you can see how dynamics vary when A=440Hz is played at the same time as several other pitches. 440 & 440 440 & 441 440 & 442 440 & 443 440 & 444 440 & 445

As pitch becomes more out of tune, does the pulse or beat caused by dynamics become more or less frequent? *This is a major way musicians tune while they are playing!

What does it mean to be in tune? Why do we hear beats? What does the frequency of these beats tell us about tuning? What instrument should an orchestra tune to?

Dynamics is loudness or softness of the music. There are several Italian words that musicians use to describe the dynamics of the music.

Dynamics is loudness or softness of the music. The three most important Italian words are: Forte (f) = loud Piano (p) = soft Mezzo (m) = half

The dynamic range in most pieces of music are… Fortissimo (ff) = very loud Forte (f) = loud Mezzo-forte (mf) = half loud Mezzo-piano (mp) = half soft Piano (p) = soft Pianissimo (pp) = very soft

Dynamics or Volume represent the amount of sound energy an instrument, band or orchestra give off. Sound Energy is measured in Decibels

An increase in 10dB (for example 50dB to 60 dB) means the energy is 10 times greater. How much more energy does 70dB have than 50dB?

Rhythm has two important parts. 1) the fraction of a measure a note takes. 2) The articulation of a note (how long or short the not is and how loud or pointed the note is)

Musicians use fractions all the time! One way they use fractions is to decide note length. Most notes can be described as whole (w), half (h), quarter (q), eighth (e), or sixteenth(x) *there are also smaller divisions

Musicians use fractions all the time! 1 whole note (w) = 2 half notes (h) 1 whole note (w) = 4 quarter notes (q) 1 whole note (w) = 8 eighth notes (e) 1 whole note (w) = 16 sixteenth notes (x)

Another way of saying this is… 1 / 2 whole note (w) = 1 half note (h) 1 / 4 whole note (w) = 1 quarter note (q) 1 / 8 whole note (w) = 1 eighth note (e) 1 / 16 whole note (w) = 1 sixteenth note (x)

Time signatures are at the front of a line of music and tell musicians how many notes are in the measure and which note gets the beat.

In this excerpt from the Blue Danube, the time signature is 3/4. The 4 means the quarter note is one beat (if you clapped along) The 3 means there are three beats (three quarter notes) in a measure.

In this excerpt from the Surprise Symphony, the time signature is 2/4. Once again, the 4 means the quarter note is one beat (if you clapped along) The 2 means there are two beats in a measure.

The last part of rhythm is articulation. Articulation gives a musician more information (data) regarding how to play a note.

Some examples of articulation are… Staccato (short) Martellato (short and accented) Tenuto (long)

In this excerpt from the Surprise Symphony, the eighth notes have a staccato accent. This tells the orchestra to play short. The quarter notes have a marcato accent which tells the orchestra to play them longer with a little emphasis.

Tempo is the speed of the beat When tempo is measured it is very precise. Tempo is can be measured in bpm (beats per minute). A march may have a tempo of 120 bpm A college fight song may have a tempo of 180 bpm

Beats per minute are similar to heart rate. What is your heart rate? The easiest place to find your pulse is half- way between the center and side of your neck (your teacher can help you). Count how many times you feel a pulse in 10 seconds and multiply that 6 (since there are 60 seconds in a minute).

Tempo is the speed of the beat Sometimes tempo is not exact to give musicians the opportunity to be artistic. There are special words given to musicians to help the express their art with ranges of tempos.

Some examples of words to describe tempos are… Largo, which means Allegro, *Many of these words come from Italian

The Surprise Symphony has a tempo andante. Andate translates to walking. A walking pace is between 72-78 bpm. The Blue Danube is labeled as Tempo di Valse. This tells us two things. The overall pulse is the entire measure rather than the quarter note. The tempo is around 60 bpm.

Timbre is the quality of the sound Different instruments have different timbres. A brass instrument sounds different from a string instrument. A woodwind sounds different than a percussion instrument.

Timbre is the quality of the sound Due to experience at finding the best way to produce a sound… An advanced player sounds better than a novice player. A novice player sounds better than a beginner.

Below are some pictures of waves from different instruments. Can you guess which instruments are in the same family (brass or woodwind)?

ALTO SAXBARI SAX CLARINET TROMBONETRUMPET TUBA WOODWINDS BRASS

Timbre is the quality of the sound As you can see, the study of timbre can be very scientific. However, most of the time, we use our ears to decide what we like.

Music usually has more than one part or voice. Balance refers to the blend within different parts of the ensemble.

Music usually has more than one part or voice. In choirs we often refer to four voices: Soprano (highest) Alto (high) Tenor (low) Bass (lowest)

Orchestras are very similar. In the string section: Violins (highest) Violas (high) Cellos (low) Bass (lowest)

Brass is also similar: Trumpets (highest) Horns (high) Trombones (low) Tubas (lowest)

Balance refers to the blend within different parts of the ensemble. Good balance means all the parts can be heard. Good balance is also up to an individuals opinion. Many stereos have a way to adjust treble (high notes) and bass (low notes) so you can create the balance you like best.

Center of Mass is the balance point in an object. Center of Mass is very important for dancers. Their feet must be below their center of mass, or they will fall.

Can you guess where the center of mass is for the following dancers?

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