The renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz once said, "The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument." Check out this project to learn about sympathetic vibrations, one way to make piano strings sing. The goal of this project is to understand which notes can induce sympathetic vibrations on an "open" string on the piano.
The Vladimir Horowitz quote in the project description on the Physics home page is from the liner notes to the CD collection, The Magic of Horowitz, Hamburg, Germany: Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, 1989.
You'll also need to understand some basic properties of waves to get the most out of this project. Perception of a sound begins when sound pressure waves reach the tympanic membrane (eardrum), a thin, flexible membrane in the middle ear. Figure 2 also shows the period (T) of the wave, which is the time that elapses during a single cycle of the wave. The piano has many tightly-stretched strings which are struck by felt-covered, wooden hammers when a piano key is pressed (more on this later).
The mechanism that transmits the force of the pianists fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings is called the action. The string vibrates between two fixed points: where it is stretched over the bridge and the opposite end of the string, where it is attached to the frame. At last, you have enough of an introduction to sound waves and pianos so that you can understand how one string can make another "sing." Playing a key to strike the string with the hammer is one way to start the string vibrating, but the strings can also be set in motion by sound. While still holding C2 open, firmly play and quickly release C3 (one octave below middle C). The tone from the C3 string will die away quickly when the damper re-contacts the string after you let go of the key.
Next you will time the duration of the sympathetic vibration induced in the open C2 string by each of the notes between C3 and C4, inclusive (the test notes).
Have your helper count down (3-2-1-go!) and start the stopwatch on "Go!" At the same moment, firmly play and release the note you are testing. Listen carefully to the sound of the C2 string, and at the first moment you can no longer hear it, say "Stop!" Your helper should immediately stop the stopwatch. Graph your results (a bar graph aligned with a graphic of the piano keys corresponding to the test notes would be one idea). If you are good with using computers and software, you can add digital recording and frequency analysis to this project. Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project.
The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. Physicists have a big goal in mind—to understand the nature of the entire universe and everything in it! Any time you hear music at a concert, a live speech, the police sirens in a TV show, or the six o'clock news you're hearing the work of a sound engineering technician.
You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. Reproduction of material from this website without written permission is strictly prohibited. Asking the same to Anglo-Saxon organists can result in hearing five (or even more) different answers. The fact that Anglo-Saxon answers deviate from an European answer is due to the fact that the European system is exact. This is comparable to sheet music or score: On paper is not the pitch, but the key to play. Because of all the differences globally below we present a comparative matrix of known systems.
Dean Eckmann, former employee at Fisk Organ Building told me that Fisk uses the system shown in in the last column. For pitch notation used throughout this study, we defer to Percy Scholes' Oxford Companion to Music [92]. We will therefore use the convention that the bottom key of a modern 61 key organ manual of normal 8' pitch is referred to as CC, middle c is c and the top key is c3 or c'''. Tony Newnham also pointed out to me that some English Organ builders have a system not shown in the matrix. Thanks to Dean Eckmann, Tony Newnham, Robert Allan and Brian Styles for their contributions to this page. From the book 'Faszination Klavier' 300 Jahre Pianofortebau in Deutschland' I took a diagram showing the development of the keyboard size in time. Below is the diagram showing pipelenghts.A  Some of the lengths shown have never been built, and are theoretical lengths.
All instruments in our catalogs and on our shopping site carry the manufacturers' warranties against defects in parts and workmanship. We will be glad to help facilitate the repair or replacement as specified by the manufacturer. All warranties, stated or implied are held with the product manufacturer and they vary from item to item. If you understand the 12-key pattern on a piano keyboard, you will have no problem labelling any keyboard. Check out How To Read Music Fast: A 4-Step Beginner's Guide To Reading Music Quickly And Easily. The main focus of this lesson is to instruct on how to play the simplest of chords on a keyboard while showing how to obtain them with some small amount of understanding.


Having some small amount of musical training while I was young, I can say where things usually begin when a new student is being taught piano.
While middle C is not usually (see Figure 3) in the middle of the keyboard, it is almost there. Note that I listed the next C in the scale while showing an octave instead of stopping at B as shown in Figure 2. Notice that when the C major scale is numbered using Roman numerals, some are numbered with capital letters and some are numbered with lower case letters. When playing chords in the C major family, very little thinking has to be done because only the white keys are played. When it comes to playing chords an octave higher, it is easy using a piano or other keyboard instrument. I once saw a musical play about a couple of piano students that made humorous the stories their careers starting from their early days.
Just using the knowledge associated with the C major scale we know where the major chords are for the notes: C, F and G.
Aside: However, the movement from the notes E to F and B to C or the movement of F to E and C to B is still only one half-step. Because we know what makes a minor chord minor, we can extend that knowledge to figure out what the major chords are for the notes D, E and A by using the chords Dm, Em and Am. We can also use the above knowledge to figure out what the minor chords are what the minor chords are for C, F and G.
Now it is possible to figure out all of the major and minor chords for all the notes on the keyboard. NOTE: It is important to reference the keyboard (a real one or the diagrams) when studying this material to have a visual aid.
By figuring out all of the major scales and putting them in ascending order you end up with half of the Cycle of Fifths. When figuring out a major scale, it is a good indication that it is correct if the 7th note is a half-step below the 8th note. If the chords in the music you are playing are contained within the major scale, you can use that scale to solo. One of the main advantages to learning about music theory using a keyboard is that the keyboard is a much more linear instrument than the guitar. To take this theory and apply it to guitar remember that standard tuning on a 6 string guitar is (low to high): E A D G B e. Another piece of information that is important to know about the guitar is that a movement of 1 fret (up or down) is a movement of a half-step.
Illustration of a sound wave as compression and rarefaction of air, and as a graph of pressure vs. Standing waves on a vibrating string, showing the fundamental (top), first harmonic (middle), and second harmonic (bottom) vibrational modes. It's not as smart as you are, and it may occasionally give humorous, ridiculous, or even annoying results! Depress the key very slowly so that the damper is lifted up, but the hammer does not cause the string to vibrate.
If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help.
To reach that goal, they observe and measure natural events seen on Earth and in the universe, and then develop theories, using mathematics, to explain why those phenomena occur.
Sound engineering technicians operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in recording studios, sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions. Historic organs are fitted with keyboards of 4 octaves, modern organs have keyboards of 4,5 octaves. It could be argued that some departments (in particular the pedals) are not based on 8' but on 16' pitch and so on, but we shall also refer to the bottom pedal as CC as it typically pulls down the lowest CC manual key when couplers are in use. The manufacturer will determine whether the defect is covered under their warranty; we do not make that determination. Also, if a school, school district, or board of education purchases an instrument and resells it to an individual, the manufacturer considers the warranty to be void. Consult the documentation that came with your product for details in addition to the information below. To help you understand this better let's talk for a moment about what is known as a semitone. It's all about repetition!There is really no difference in labeling any keyboard no matter how many keys it has. Hopefully, this will help the guitarist understand how chords are played on the guitar easier than using the guitar alone. The placement of middle C on a musical staff can be researched on the person’s own time.
This is because this and many other keyboards as well as full-size pianos are not symmetrical about middle C. Place the thumb of the right hand on middle C (or any C), skip using the index finger, place the middle finger on E, skip the ring finger, and place the little finger on G. When playing guitar it is different because you can form different version of the same chord in different places on the fingerboard. Any chord in the family of the C major scale (and any major scale for that matter) begins with the note which is the name of the chord, the third note up from that note and the fifth note up from the note of the name of the chord. We the know the minor chords are for the notes D, E, A, and the diminished chord is associated with the note B.


The top of the figure shows how an octave normally looks while the bottom of the figure shows the octave as if the black keys in the octave were extended to the full length of the white keys.
This is important to understand because using this knowledge along with of what notes are in the C major scale allows us to figure out for ourselves the formula for the major scale if we so wish. However, if you know the C major scale and the key spacing, you can figure out the formula every time.
To figure out how to play a dominant 7th chord, reduce the (major) 7th by a half-step and fit it into the chord fingering.
The vibrations are amplified by a series of three tiny bones and transmitted to the cochlea. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
Physicists take on the challenge of explaining events that happen on the grandest scale imaginable to those that happen at the level of the smallest atomic particles. Sounds like a lot of keyboards, but the principle behind the layout of keys on every piano keyboard is the same.
As the term middle C suggests, on piano or keyboard, middle C lies around the middle of your keyboard. What you need to do is to recognize that there are two black keys then a gap with no black key, then 3 black keys, a gap with no black key, then 2 black  keys, and the pattern keeps repeating over and over.
The reasoning behind that is for some other topic of research that goes into the development of music as a whole. If you place the thumb of the right hand on middle C, the rest of the fingers will each fall on one key naturally. If playing an electric guitar it is easier to play chords one octave higher because the fingers can be placed that high on the fretboard (fingerboard) more easily due to the way the guitar is built. For a C chord, that means the chord is made up of the notes C (I), E (iii), and G (V) of the C major scale.
Remember, the method for playing all of the chords in the C major scale is provided in the paragraph below Figure 6. The extension of the black keys is done to show that there is movement of one half-step between all keys, black or white even though some white keys have no black keys between them.
More importantly, with this knowledge, if we forget the formula for the major scale, we can refer to the C major scale to figure out the formula.
Imagine moving the fingers from the notes indicated on the bottom chord of Figure 8, Dm to the top chord of Figure 8, D. Again, it is important to know that there are no black keys between the keys B and C, and E and F. The numbering of the notes in the chord family (originally presented in the scale) is also often used in chord progressions of songs. On the guitar, when you get to the last fret on one string, the next note on the next string is not the next note as it is on the keyboard.
Figure 2, below, shows examples of sound waves of two different frequencies (Henderson, 2004). Their theories are then applied to human-scale projects to bring people new technologies, like computers, lasers, and fusion energy. No matter how many keys your keyboard comes with, this is the note pattern of the white keys on a piano. So how about the black keys? By using the information provided below, the guitarist can more easily figure out what notes are being played with particular chords.
This lesson will show how to finger all the major chords, minor chords, and dominant 7th chords, hopefully without overwhelming you with music theory. To play the D minor (commonly shown as Dm) chord, just move the hand to the right one white key so the thumb plays D, the middle finger plays F, and the little finger plays A. All chords in the C major chord family can be played by using the thumb, the middle finger and the little finger.
However, because a major chord is made up of the 1st note of the chord, the major 3rd from the 1st note of the chord, and the major 5th from the 1st note of the chord the major scale formula will provide you with the major chords in the root note chord family for the root (I) note, the fourth (IV) and the fifth (V) notes of the major scales. Try searching for "sound frequency analysis software" or "wav file frequency analysis software." You can try shareware programs before buying them, but if you decide to use the program, do follow through and pay the registration fee. To play the E minor chord (commonly shown as Em), move the hand to the right one white key. Actually, for later use and knowledge, the same holds true for playing the chords to the left of the right hand but starting with the little finger and moving to the right.
Again, remember that you have already been provided with the method of figuring out all the major and minor chords for all the keys on the keyboard. The result: A stopped pipe only needs half the length of an open pipe to sound the same pitch. If you take a good look at the black keys you will realize that it's a pattern of a set of two black keys followed by a set of three black keys, followed by two black keys, followed by three black keys and so on.
You could also use the major scale formula to obtain the B major scale and work from there. C sharp and D flat are enharmonic equivalents because while they are played by the same key, they have different note names.
As we saw earlier the 12 notes are C, C-Sharp (or D-Flat), D, D-sharp (or E-Flat), E, F, F-Sharp (or G-Flat), G, G-Sharp ( or A-Flat), A, A-Sharp (or B-Flat), and B.Take a look at the pattern of two and three black keys once again.



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