Free course

Creating musical sounds

Free statement of participation on completion

How do different instruments produce the sounds we classify as music? How do we decide whether something whether a piano or a vacuum cleaner is actually a musical instrument? In this free course, Creating musical sounds, we investigate the way vibrations and sound waves are harnessed to create music.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Explain correctly the meaning of the emboldened terms in the main text and use them correctly in context
  • Identify whether a given sound source can be classed as a musical instrument and explain why (Activity 2)
  • Identify the primary vibrator and any secondary vibrators in the most common types of instrument (Activity 3)
  • Appreciate that, when a note is played, a musical instrument vibrates strongly at certain specific frequencies and that these frequencies correspond to the natural frequencies of the primary vibrator; (Activity 4)
  • Determine whether the sound from a given instrument is transient or sustained (Activity 5)

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content