Musical Instrument Engineering
Science Fair Projects
Ideas and Sample Projects by Grade Level

Home Experiments Engineers Warning!
Elementary School - Grades 4-6
P=Project   E=Experiment
Middle School - Grades 7-9
P=Project   E=Experiment
Determine how the distance between the theremin's antenna and the player's hand affects the frequency the theremin produces. [E]
Build a drum set using household materials, a computer, Scratch, and a PicoBoard. [E]
The differences between the sounds made by instruments constructed from different materials. [E]
Make Your Own Phonograph from Everyday Items [E]
Determine which material will muffle the most sound off a drum roll on the snare drum. [E]
What Material for an Acoustic Instrument Soundboard Has the Widest Range of Response? [E]
What Material Makes a More Resonant Acoustic Instrument Soundboard? [E]
Determine how the position, relative to the end of the string, of the pickup on an electric guitar affects the tone of the sound. [E]
Investigate how the musical note produced by a wine glass is affected by the fluid level in the glass. [E]
Make musical instruments using drinking straws. [E]
Making Music with Glass Bottles [E]
Quantifying the Effects of Temperature and Relative Humidity on Violin Pitch [E]

Test whether there is a correlation between a flute's metallic properties and tone quality. [E]
Does the type of wood used for a soundboard in stringed instruments affect the way the notes sound? [E]
Determine how the placement of the soundpost affects a violin's sound. [E]
Compare and test natural cane and synthetic plastic clarinet reeds in order to determine which material can produce better intonation over a greater range of registers. [E]
How the use of different materials affects the bass response of a speaker [P]
Physics of Music Science Fair Projects & Experiments
High School - Grades 10-12
P=Project   E=Experiment
Develop and demonstrate an electric cello utilizing novel optical sensors directly monitoring the vibrations of each of the cello strings independently [E]
Using a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Reader to Make Musical Instruments [E]
Does Altering the Mass Distribution of a Drumstick Affect Its Rebound off a Snare Drum? [E]
What Material Makes the Most Resonant Soundboard? [E]
Make Your Own Piezoelectric Pickup for Acoustic Guitar [E]
Build and test your own electric guitar pickup. [E]
Determine if the pot or resonator of a banjo affects the sound coming from the instrument. [E]
Find out which weight of gauge of guitar string would give the purest tones. [E]
Physics of Music Science Fair Projects & Experiments
Useful Links
Science Fair Projects Resources [R]
Citation Guides, Style Manuals, Reference [R]
Safety Resources [R] [R]
Engineering Science Fair Books


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The Scientific Method - How to Experiment
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Topics, Ideas, Sample Projects

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Last updated: January 2017
Copyright 2003-2017 Julian Rubin