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COURSE TITLE: Special Topics in Physics - 2016/17 Winter: The Physics of Music
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A course on a topic of figure of special interest to a member of the biology faculty and offered on a non-recurring basis.

Prerequisites: some topics may have more specific pre-requisites

2016/17 Winter

The following course proposal has arisen from a long-standing role that the Physics program at King’s has played with the Music program in delivering a series of lectures (usually in the fall term) on the physics of music. These lectures are always well received and usually met with a genuine interest (on the part of music students) to explore these ideas further – hence rationale for a course devoted to this topic. At the same time, music is a universal part of the human experience and certainly a topic that will be of interest to physics students. This course is intended to encourage a mutually enriching conversation between the musicians and physicists! 

Pre/co-requisite Courses: one of Phys 241,243 , Musi 200
REQUIRED TEXTS: David R. Lapp, The Physics of Music and Musical Instruments (free online)
Weekly lab and written assignments 50%
Midterm exam 20%
Final exam 30%

COURSE OUTLINE: Course topics:
  1. Nature of Sound
  2. Waves and Vibration
  3. Sources of Sound
  4. Sound Propagation and Resonance
  5. Sound Energy, Intensity and its Measurement
  6. The Human Ear
  7. The Elements of Musial Sound
  8. Sound Spectra and Musical Instruments
  9. Percussive sound and Percussion Instruments
  10. Vibrating Strings and Stringed Instruments
  11. Vibrating Pipes and Reeds – Woodwind and Brass Instruments
  12. The Human Voice
  13. Room Acoustics
Lab Projects:
  1. Measuring the physical properties of sound
  2. Resonance
  3. Building a Native American Flute
  4. Building a Stringed Instrument
  5. Building a tuned-chime
  6. Spectral analysis of human voice
  7. Wrap-up project

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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