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Pitch 3

In this worksheet, students will consider questions which are about changing the sound of stringed instruments.

'Pitch 3' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Sound

Curriculum subtopic:  Pitch and Objects

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Musical instruments are an important part of our lives, whether we play one or not.  Music can be a powerful part of our lives.

 

Guitar

A guitar makes sounds when we pluck or strum the strings. The hollow body of the guitar amplifies the sounds (makes them louder).

 

Some other stringed instruments also have a hollow body, like this violin.

 

Violin

 

When the strings vibrate, the vibrations pass into the rest of the body of the instrument and come out of the sound hole.

Sound holes are usually different shapes in different stringed instruments.

The pitch changes with the thickness, length and tightness of the strings.

 

OK, with those thoughts in mind, let's have a look at the science of sound and how musical instruments can help us to understand that better.

Here are five musical instruments.

 

Which THREE of these are string instruments?

harp

mandolin

tambourine

flute

double bass

Which statement best describes what vibrates when a guitar is played?

only the strings

the strings and the air

the whole body

only the air

Finish this sentence:

 

The hollow body of a stringed instrument.......

muffles the sound

amplifies the sound

changes the pitch

Finish this sentence:

 

Plucking a string harder makes a......

louder sound

high-pitched sound

softer sound

Below are five factors that might change the sound of an instrument.

 

Which THREE of these changes to the strings change the PITCH of a stringed instrument? 

colour

thickness

plucking

length

tightness

Below are six factors that might affect the sort of sound a string on an instrument produces.

 

Think about which THREE of these strings make a high-pitched sound?

thick

thin

tight

loose

long

short

Harp

 

A harp is a stringed instrument with strings of different lengths.

 

Which strings do you think make the low-pitched sounds? (Don't worry that you may never have played a harp - use your knowledge of the science of sound to make a prediction).

long strings

short strings

Girl playing guitar

 

Callie is playing her guitar.

 

In which TWO ways could she change the pitch of the notes?

use a plectrum

alter the length of the strings

change the 'tightness' of the strings

play it standing up

How does Callie change the length of the strings while she is playing?

with the tuning keys

moving her fingers on the frets

cuts them with scissors

Find the missing word:

The thicker strings on stringed instruments make _______  pitched notes.  

low

high

soft

  • Question 1

Here are five musical instruments.

 

Which THREE of these are string instruments?

CORRECT ANSWER
harp
mandolin
double bass
EDDIE SAYS
The harp, double bass and mandolin all have strings stretched across them which the player plucks, hits or scrapes with a bow so that the instrument makes a sound. You hit a tambourine with your hand and a flute you blow with your mouth.
  • Question 2

Which statement best describes what vibrates when a guitar is played?

CORRECT ANSWER
the whole body
EDDIE SAYS
When the player plucks or strums the strings of a guitar, the vibrations in the strings pass to the rest of the body (the wooden bit) of the guitar. Then the whole guitar vibrates to send the sound out into the air and to the listeners' ears.
  • Question 3

Finish this sentence:

 

The hollow body of a stringed instrument.......

CORRECT ANSWER
amplifies the sound
EDDIE SAYS
That's the wonderful thing about attaching the strings to a hollow body - when they are plucked, the vibration of the strings is carried to the whole instrument and so the vibrations are made much bigger - they are AMPLIFIED.
  • Question 4

Finish this sentence:

 

Plucking a string harder makes a......

CORRECT ANSWER
louder sound
EDDIE SAYS
Blowing harder, hitting harder, or plucking harder produces LOUDER sounds. That's because the string moves more, side-to-side, and the bigger movement produces a bigger sound. Same with the air in, say, a trumpet. Makes sense?
  • Question 5

Below are five factors that might change the sound of an instrument.

 

Which THREE of these changes to the strings change the PITCH of a stringed instrument? 

CORRECT ANSWER
thickness
length
tightness
EDDIE SAYS
That might need some thinking about: the colour makes no difference to the sound and if you pluck an elastic band, the plucking itself produces a sound, but the PITCH of the sound (how high or low it is) is varied by the thickness of the rubber band, how long it is and how tight you pull it.
  • Question 6

Below are six factors that might affect the sort of sound a string on an instrument produces.

 

Think about which THREE of these strings make a high-pitched sound?

CORRECT ANSWER
thin
tight
short
EDDIE SAYS
Thin, tight or short strings make HIGH-PITCHED sounds. Think about it: pull a rubber band tight - higher sound. Thin rubber band - high sound. Short one - high sound. Try it for yourself.
  • Question 7

Harp

 

A harp is a stringed instrument with strings of different lengths.

 

Which strings do you think make the low-pitched sounds? (Don't worry that you may never have played a harp - use your knowledge of the science of sound to make a prediction).

CORRECT ANSWER
long strings
EDDIE SAYS
That's right - the longer strings of a harp make low-pitched sounds. That's because the longer strings vibrate more slowly, which makes the sound a deeper one.
  • Question 8

Girl playing guitar

 

Callie is playing her guitar.

 

In which TWO ways could she change the pitch of the notes?

CORRECT ANSWER
alter the length of the strings
change the 'tightness' of the strings
EDDIE SAYS
You're getting there! For Callie to change the pitch of the notes she plays, the tightness (tension) of the string and how long it is all make a difference. A plectrum simply makes plucking more precise (and protects your fingertips!) and standing up makes no difference to the sound.
  • Question 9

How does Callie change the length of the strings while she is playing?

CORRECT ANSWER
moving her fingers on the frets
EDDIE SAYS
Callie moves her fingers up and down the neck of the guitar over the frets to change the length of the string which can vibrate. As she moves her fingers towards the body of the guitar, the string is shortened, so the note is higher. If she wants to play a lower note, she moves her fingers along the fret board (neck of the guitar) towards the tuning pegs.
  • Question 10

Find the missing word:

The thicker strings on stringed instruments make _______  pitched notes.  

CORRECT ANSWER
low
EDDIE SAYS
Got there? Thicker strings, longer strings, loose strings all make notes lower as the string is vibrating more slowly. As with any science, try it out for yourself if you can. There's nothing like experiencing things for yourself to help you to understand them much better.
---- OR ----

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