10 Credits SPRING

Pre-requisites: PHY101, PHY102, PHY250

Aims/Description: This module will provide an introduction to the physics of music building on physics covered in year 1 and semester 2 of year 2. The module will include the following topics: Recap of oscillations, waves and resonance, the human voice, physics of tuned and untuned percussion, musical pitch and timbre, Fourier analysis, musical scales, physics of stringed instruments, physics of wind instruments, electric instruments (based on electro-magnetic pickups and piezoelectric transducers), synthesizers (analogue and digital), sound recording and reproduction (analogue and digital), myths, legends, folklore and pseudoscience in acoustics.

Restrictions on availability: Only available to students taking single honours physics degrees and those not involving a second subject in year 1 (physics with study in North America, Physics with study in Australasia, Theoretical Physics are permitted).

Staff Contact: CLARKE NIGEL
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam, Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Physics and Astronomy):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK