Wind Chimes Project Details

Goal: Build two sets of wind chimes from hollow tubes:
  • One that sounds a chord in a Western musical scale.
  • One that sounds a chord in a non-Western musical scale.

Resources: We have the following materials that you may find helpful:
  • Tuning forks - produce reference sounds of known frequency.
  • Microphones that input sound through a LabQuest into the computer for analysis using the LoggerPro software.
  • Visual Analyzer program for easily measuring frequencies.
  • Audacity's a sweet program but I don't know how helpful it'll be for this application.
  • Electrical conduit for making tubes.


Week 1
  1. Learn to use the LabQuest and/or Computer to measure the fundamental frequencies of tuning forks.
  2. Perform the following experiments and record what you found in your blog:
    1. Experiment with a sample chime to find the fundamental frequency of a chime.
    2. Experiment with a sample chime to find out how the quality of its sound depends on where you hold it.
    3. Experiment with a sample chime to find out how the quality of its sound depends on where you strike it.
    4. Experiment to find how the fundamental frequency of your chime depends on its length.

Week 2
  1. Investigate the relationship between length and frequency on two other sound producers. Is it always the same or does it depend on the instrument? Instruments to consider checking would be:
    • The WMC band’'s chimes
    • Guitar, violin, or piano strings
    • A pipe organ
  2. Learn about chords and scales to find our what frequencies you need to make your two sets of wind chimes.  Make sure to record why certain notes make up chords that are pleasing to the ear.
  3. Come up with the question you want to ask and turn it in to the green folder.  (See Grading Rubric #4 for more information.)

Weeks 3, 4, and 5
  1. Build your two sets of wind chimes. Take pictures of each step in the process and include them in your notebook or blog.
  2. If doing a blog, prepare a podcast of your chimes playing. If not, turn them in for Mr. Falk to listen to.
  3. Find one expert on sound somewhere in Western Michigan. Have them write a review of the quality of your chime.