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Pitch 2

In this worksheet, students will answer questions about how the pitch of musical instruments is changed.

'Pitch 2' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Sound

Curriculum subtopic:  Pitch and Objects

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Do you play a musical instrument?  Do you have any friends or family who do?

 

As you'll know, musical instruments have different pitches.

 

Bass drum Cello

A large drum has a lower pitch

than a small drum

A cello has a lower pitch

than a violin

 

A stretched drum skin has a higher pitch.  Thick heavy strings make a low-pitched sound.  Longer strings also produce a lower-pitched sound.

 

So, by changing aspects of the instrument, you can change the pitch.  As you'll probably know, musical instruments of different sizes make sounds of a different pitch.

 

Let's have a closer look at all this.

In science a VARIABLE is something that changes, like temperature, sunlight, length and so on.

 

So, which TWO variables in the list do you think change the pitch of a drum? 

the size

how hard it is hit

the colour

the tightness of the skin

Complete this sentence:

 

A drum makes a louder sound when it is hit...

on the side

more frequently

harder

Guitars often have six strings. Complete this sentence:

 

To produce different pitches, the strings have different...

thicknesses

names

colours

Guitar

 

Instruments, like this guitar, have a hollow body.

 

Why do you think that the hollow body of stringed instruments is important?  How do you think it affects the sound?

makes it softer

makes it louder

changes the pitch

Right, now choose the scientific word which you think means "make it louder".

muffle

tune

amplify

Below is a list of five musical instruments.

 

Pick the THREE instruments which are stringed instruments.

trombone

banjo

harp

clarinet

ukelele

Trumpet

 

A trumpet is a long tube of metal which has been bent into this shape and it contains air. The valves connect extra lengths of pipe to the main tube, to make it longer.

 

So, how does the length of the tube affect the pitch, do you think?

long tube = high pitch

long tube = low pitch

Bongos

 

These drums are called bongos. One is bigger than the other.

 

Which of the two drums will make a higher-pitched note?

 

Left (nearer the front) or right (nearer the back)?

left

right

Recorder

 

Using your knowledge so far, try to answer this question (even easier if you've played a recorder!):

 

How do we make a low-pitched note on a recorder?  Pick ONE answer.

cover none of the holes

cover half of the holes

cover all the holes

So, finally, complete this sentence:

 

Covering all the holes on the recorder makes the column of air... 

longer

shorter

narrower

  • Question 1

In science a VARIABLE is something that changes, like temperature, sunlight, length and so on.

 

So, which TWO variables in the list do you think change the pitch of a drum? 

CORRECT ANSWER
the size
the tightness of the skin
EDDIE SAYS
The size of the drum affects the pitch of the drum - large drum = lower sound. Also the tightness of the drumskin - tighter skin = higher pitched sound. How hard you hit it affects how loud the sound is, but it doesn't affect the pitch.
  • Question 2

Complete this sentence:

 

A drum makes a louder sound when it is hit...

CORRECT ANSWER
harder
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, the harder you hit a drum, the harder you blow a trumpet, the harder you strum a guitar, the louder the sound. You are making the instrument and the air produce bigger vibrations, and this translates to a louder sound.
  • Question 3

Guitars often have six strings. Complete this sentence:

 

To produce different pitches, the strings have different...

CORRECT ANSWER
thicknesses
EDDIE SAYS
In fact thick strings have a lower pitch when plucked or strummed whilst the thinner strings have a higher pitch. If you've never checked that out, you really need to have a go!
  • Question 4

Guitar

 

Instruments, like this guitar, have a hollow body.

 

Why do you think that the hollow body of stringed instruments is important?  How do you think it affects the sound?

CORRECT ANSWER
makes it louder
EDDIE SAYS
What the hollow body does is to AMPLIFY the sound - that means that the vibrations of the strings are made louder by all the air in the body of the instrument vibrating, and so it sends out a louder sound for everyone to hear.
  • Question 5

Right, now choose the scientific word which you think means "make it louder".

CORRECT ANSWER
amplify
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, AMPLIFY means to make something louder or bigger. Muffling is the opposite - it makes sounds softer.
  • Question 6

Below is a list of five musical instruments.

 

Pick the THREE instruments which are stringed instruments.

CORRECT ANSWER
banjo
harp
ukelele
EDDIE SAYS
If you have never seen a ukelele or a banjo, type them into a search engine and look at a picture of them. They use strings, as does a harp, to make their sounds - the strings are plucked, strummed or hit. The other two use air blown through them: trombones are brass instruments while the clarinet is from the woodwind section.
  • Question 7

Trumpet

 

A trumpet is a long tube of metal which has been bent into this shape and it contains air. The valves connect extra lengths of pipe to the main tube, to make it longer.

 

So, how does the length of the tube affect the pitch, do you think?

CORRECT ANSWER
long tube = low pitch
EDDIE SAYS
That's right - when a tube is longer it makes a lower sound. Try it with a couple of bottles, one big and one small. Blow gently across the mouth of the bottle to make a note. Compare the two notes - which is the lower-pitched one?
  • Question 8

Bongos

 

These drums are called bongos. One is bigger than the other.

 

Which of the two drums will make a higher-pitched note?

 

Left (nearer the front) or right (nearer the back)?

CORRECT ANSWER
right
EDDIE SAYS
As you've been finding out, the smaller the drum, the higher the pitch! So, it's the right-hand drum that makes the higher note.
  • Question 9

Recorder

 

Using your knowledge so far, try to answer this question (even easier if you've played a recorder!):

 

How do we make a low-pitched note on a recorder?  Pick ONE answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
cover all the holes
EDDIE SAYS
Remember - the longer the pipe/tube, the lower the pitch of the note? Well, if you cover all the holes, the air has to go all the way to the bottom. Result? Deeper note. Ta-da!
  • Question 10

So, finally, complete this sentence:

 

Covering all the holes on the recorder makes the column of air... 

CORRECT ANSWER
longer
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, the longer the column of air, the lower the note! Got there!
---- OR ----

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