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THE SCIENCE OF MUSIC (PC1327/GEK1519) Mid-Term Class Test, Semester 1, 2013/14

This is an open book test. The test is one hour long.


Give your answers to ALL 25 questions on the computer-readable sheet provided, using a soft (2B) pencil to shade the appropriate choice for each question. 1. Which of the following is the least appropriate example of a scientic activity? (a) A clarinet player investigating how the thickness of her clarinet reed aects the loudness of a certain musical note for the same blowing eort. (b) A ukulele player nding out how the material out of which the top of the ukulele is made aects the quality or timbre of the musical notes produced. (c) A mathematician playing a Chopin waltz on a new type of electronic piano which uses a novel method of sound generation. (d) A biomedical scientist studying the behaviour of the muscles on a pianists arm when the pianist is playing a note on a piano keyboard. Answer: (c) The clarinet player, ukulele player and biomedical scientist are all performing essentially scientic activities. The mathematician is the only one performing an essentially musical activity. 2. Which of the following is the most appropriate example of a technological activity? (a) An engineer doing a jazz improvisation on her electronic organ. (b) A percussion player designing and constructing a new type of bass drum which can be folded into a small package for portability. (c) A guitarist performing in a heavy metal band on an electric guitar using a new kind of special eects pedal to alter the sound. (d) A trombone player rehearsing on a new kind of trombone which has both a slide and valves. Answer: (b) The engineer, guitarist and trombone player are all performing essentially musical activities. The percussion player is the only one performing an essentially technological activity. 3. Which of the following objects is the most appropriate example of a vibrating object? (a) A womans hand patting her babys back just once. (b) A coconut which falls from a coconut tree onto a patch of thick grass and lies still without bouncing or rolling. (c) A students leg as the student shakes it from side to side repeatedly during a boring lecture. (d) A child sliding down a slide in a playground just once. Answer: (c) The womans hand, coconut and child are all undergoing a single motion without repetition and hence cannot be said to be undergoing a vibration. Only the students leg is undergoing a repetitive motion and hence can be said to be undergoing a vibration. 4. Two agpoles which are side by side are observed to be swaying from left to right repeatedly during a strong wind. The shorter agpole undergoes 6 complete left to right movements or cycles in the same duration during which the taller agpole undergoes 5 complete cycles. If the taller agpole undergoes 4 complete cycles in 7 seconds, which of the following is closest to the time the shorter agpole would take to undergo 8 cycles?
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(a) (b) (c) (d)

23.34 seconds. 11.67 seconds. 8.75 seconds. 6.56 seconds.

Answer: (b) The taller agpole undergoes 4 complete cycles in 7 seconds, and hence the time i.e. 35 seconds. This is the same which it takes to undergo 5 cycles is equal to 7 seconds times 5 4 4 duration during which the shorter agpole undergoes 6 cycles, and hence the shorter agpole would take 35 seconds divided by 6 i.e. 35 seconds to complete one cycle. The time in which 4 24 seconds i.e. 35 seconds i.e. the shorter agpole undergoes 8 cycles is thus equal to 8 times 35 24 3 approximately 11.67 seconds. 5. An architect designs a house, and the plans for the house prepared by the architect are given to a contractor who builds the actual house. A businessman sees the house when it is completed and buys it for his family, who then live in the house. A composer composes a symphony by writing the musical score of the symphony, and an orchestra performs the symphony from the musical score for an appreciative audience at a concert. What has the same relationship to the architect as the audience has to the composer? (a) (b) (c) (d) The The The The plans for the house. contractor. house itself. family living in the house.

Answer: (d) The audience listens to and enjoys the symphony which is the product of the composers creativity and hence the family is analogous to the audience, since the family lives in the house and experiences the product of the architects creativity. 6. A group of friends at a birthday party is singing Happy Birthday as the birthday girl is blowing the candles on her birthday cake. Just then, a latecomer rushes into the room, and hearing the singing, starts to sing too as she enters the room in which the party is being held. In order to produce counterpoint with the rest of her friends at the party, what song should she not sing as she enters the room? (a) (b) (c) (d) Happy Birthday We are Singapore. Jingle Bells. Majulah Singapura.

Answer: (a) To ensure that counterpoint is produced, the latecomer should sing a dierent melody from the one which the rest of her friends are singing. She should thus not sing Happy Birthday. 7. At a student concert, the rst item is a rock band which registers a reading of 94 dB on a sound level meter which you are carrying with you as you sit as a member of the audience. The next item is a choir whose sound power is 100 times less powerful than that produced by the band. What would you expect the reading on the sound level meter due to the choir to be? (Assume that the sound level meter readings are due only to the rock band or the choir.) (a) 114 dB. (b) 94 dB.
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(c) 84 dB. (d) None of the above. Answer: (d) A decrease in sound power of 10 times would result in a decrease in the sound level meter reading of 10 dB and hence a decrease in sound power of 100 times, which is the same as a decrease of 10 times 10 times in sound power, would result in a decrease in the sound level meter reading of 10 dB plus 10 dB i.e. a decrease of 20 dB. The sound level meter reading when the choir is performing is thus 20 dB less than that due to the rock band, which is equal to 94 dB minus 20 dB i.e. 74 dB. 8. The sopranino recorder is the member of the recorder family with the highest pitch range and the highest note it can play has a frequency of approximately 6,257 Hz. The sub contrabass recorder is a member of the recorder and the lowest note it can play has a frequency of approximately 66 Hz. How many octaves are there from the lowest note of the sub contrabass recorder to the highest note of the sopranino recorder, whose frequencies are as given above? (a) Greater than 4 octaves but less than 5 octaves. (b) Greater than 5 octaves but less than 6 octaves. (c) Greater than 6 octaves but less than 7 octaves. (d) Greater than 7 octaves but less than 8 octaves. Answer: (c) The octave has a ratio of 2 i.e. 2. Multiplying 66 Hz by 2, we obtain 132 1 Hz. Multiplying by 2 again arrives at 264 Hz and another multiplication by 2 gives 528 Hz. Multiplying by 2 for a 4th time gives us 1,056 Hz, and a fth multiplication by 2 arrives at 2,112 Hz. Multiplying by 2 a sixth time gives 4,224 Hz, and by a seventh time nally arrives at 8,448 Hz which is higher than 6,257 Hz. Therefore from 66 Hz to 6,257 Hz is an interval which spans more than 6 octaves but less than 7 octaves. 9. A piano which is tuned correctly to Equal-tempered tuning has its A4 note tuned to a frequency of 442 Hz. If a certain note on this piano has a frequency of approximately 1,984.5 Hz, which of the following notes on this piano is most likely to be this note? (Take the ratio of an Equal-tempered semitone to be equal to 1.05946 for your calculations.) (a) A6. (b) B6. (c) C7. (d) None of the above. Answer: (b) The A4 on the piano has a frequency of 442 Hz, and therefore A5 has a frequency double this i.e. 884 Hz, and A6 has a frequency double this again, i.e. 1,768 Hz. If we multiply 1,768 Hz by 1.05946, we are going up one Equal-tempered semitone from A6 to arrive at Asharp6 which has a frequency of approximately 1,873.1 Hz. Going up one more semitone and multiplying by 1.05946 again gives us a frequency of approximately 1,984.5 Hz which is the frequency of B6. If we were to multiply this frequency by 1.05946 again to go up by another semitone to arrive at the note C7, this would have a frequency of approximately 2,102.5 Hz. Hence the note is most likely to be B6. 10. A musical score of a tune for a ute has a time signature at its start of 11/8. A certain bar of this tune starts with a quaver rest and ends with a dotted quaver and 3 semiquavers. Of the following combinations of notes, which one would t exactly into the middle of this particular bar?
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(a) 7 semiquavers and 2 crotchets. (b) A dotted crotchet and 8 semiquavers. (c) 10 semiquavers and a dotted quaver. (d) None of the above. Answer: (b) The tune has a time signature of 11/8, indicating that each bar of the tune has 11 beats, with each beat being a quaver duration. Each bar of the tune must therefore have the duration equivalent of 11 quavers or 22 semiquavers. At the start of the bar there is already a quaver rest equivalent to 2 semiquavers, and at the end of the bar are a dotted quaver equivalent to 3 semiquavers, and 3 semiquavers. Hence the bar already has a total of 8 semiquavers, and the middle of the bar needs the equivalent of 14 semiquavers. A dotted crotchet is equivalent to 6 semiquavers, and with 8 semiquavers makes up a total of 14 semiquavers. 11. You start from the note E2 on the keyboard of a normal grand piano and then move upwards by an interval of an Equal-tempered seventh to reach a second note. Starting from this second note, you then move upwards by an interval of one-third of an octave to arrive at a third note. Starting yet again from this third note, you move downwards by the interval of an Equal-tempered fourth to arrive at the fourth and last note. Which of the following is the correct letter name of this fourth and last note? (Assume that any interval named is an Equaltempered interval which occurs on the Equal-tempered piano keyboard between Middle C and another note of the C scale.) (a) B2. (b) Csharp3. (c) Dsharp3. (d) None of the above. Answer: (d) An Equal-tempered seventh consists of 11 Equal-tempered semitones, and hence the second note is 11 semitones above E2 i.e. Dsharp3. 12 semitones make up one octave and thus one-third of an octave is 4 semitones. From Dsharp3, a move upwards by 4 semitones would arrive at the third note G3. Finally, moving downwards by an Equal-tempered fourth or 5 semitones from G3 brings you to the fourth and last note which is the note D3. 12. A solo oboist is playing from the musical score of a melody which consists of just a single musical sta with a treble clef at its start. A particular bar of this melody has its rst note written on the lowest of the ve lines of the sta, its second note on the second lowest of the four spaces of the sta, its third note on the second highest line of the ve lines of the sta, and its fourth note on the highest of the four spaces of the sta. What are the letter names, in the correct sequence from rst to last, of these four notes starting with the rst note? (a) E, A, C and E. (b) E, B, D and E. (c) E, A, D and F. (d) None of the above. Answer: (d) The treble clef shows that the note G is the second lowest line of the sta. Therefore the lowest of the ve lines is the note E, the second lowest of the four spaces is the note A, the second highest line is the note D, and the highest space is the note E.

13. A guitar is tuned in accordance with the Equal-tempered scale with its A2 string at a frequency of 110 Hz. A violin has its A4 note tuned exactly two octaves above the guitars A2 string, and all its strings tuned correctly in Just fths. Which of the following is closest to the ratio of the interval between the note from the lowest open string on the violin and the note from the highest open string on the guitar? Open string means that the notes are not played with a nger on the violins ngerboard or the guitars fretboard, i.e. with the full lengths of the respective strings vibrating. (You may take the ratio of an Equal-tempered semitone to be equal to 1.05946 for your calculations.) (a) 1.500. (b) 1.591. (c) 1.686. (d) 1.786. Answer: (c) The lowest string on the violin is its G3 string which is exactly two Just fths twice, which is below its A string. Hence the frequency of this G string is 440 Hz divided by 3 2 4 the same as 440 Hz times 9 whose value equals approximately 195.56 Hz. The highest string on the guitar is its E4 string, which is 5 Equal-tempered semitones below the guitars A4 note whose frequency is 440 Hz (since A2 is 110 Hz). Hence the frequency of the E string is given by 440 Hz divided by 1.05946 5 times, i.e approximately 329.63 Hz. The ratio is thus approximately equal to 329.63 Hz divided by 195.56 Hz i.e. approximately 1.686. 14. You start from a rst note and then go down by a Just third to reach a second note. From the second note you now go up, but this time by an interval of a Pythagorean sixth, arriving at a third note. What is the ratio of the interval between the rst note and the third note?
4 . (a) 3 135 . 64 27 . 20

(b) (c)

(d) None of the above. Answer: (c) The ratio of a Just third is 5 , and the ratio of a Pythagorean sixth is 27 . The 4 16 ratio of the interval between the rst and the third note is obtained by rstly dividing by 5 4 27 27 and then multiplying by 16 , which is equivalent to multiplying 4 by . Therefore the ratio of 5 16 27 the interval between the rst and third note is 108 , which we can reduce to the ratio 20 . 80 15. On placing your nger on a vibrating string which has a length of 150 cm at a distance of 30 cm from the nearer end of the string, you discover that it vibrates at a frequency of 2,250 Hz. What is the fundamental frequency of the string? (a) 450 Hz. (b) 562.5 Hz. (c) 375 Hz. (d) None of the above. Answer: (a) Since your nger is 30 cm from the nearer end of the string which is 150 cm long, and 30 cm is one-fth of 150 cm, the string must be vibrating at its 5th harmonic. Therefore the fundamental frequency of the string is equal to 2,250 Hz divided by 5 i.e. 450 Hz.

16. A string which is 120 cm long is vibrating with 4 antinodes between its two ends at a frequency of 1,100 Hz. A second string which has 7 antinodes between its two ends is vibrating at a frequency of 1,540 Hz. What is the length of the second string which is vibrating with 7 antinodes? (Assume that the two strings are identical in all respects except length.) (a) (b) (c) (d) 140 cm. 96 cm. 75 cm. None of the above.

Answer: (d) The rst string has 4 antinodes and is thus vibrating at its 4th harmonic, and hence its fundamental frequency is given by 1,100 Hz divided by 4 i.e. 275 Hz. The second string has 7 antinodes and is thus at its 7th harmonic. Therefore its fundamental frequency is given by 1,540 Hz divided by 7 i.e. 220 Hz. The length of the second string is thus equal to i.e. 150 cm. 120 cm times 275 220 17. The nodes and antinodes on a vibrating string which is 160 cm long are such that the distance between adjacent nodes on this string is 20 cm. When you place your nger on a second string which is 240 cm long at a distance of 40 cm from its nearer end, this string vibrates at a frequency of 1,920 Hz. What is the frequency of vibration of the rst string which is 160 cm long? (Assume that the two strings are identical in all respects except length.) (a) (b) (c) (d) 2,880 Hz. 3,360 Hz. 3,840 Hz. None of the above.

Answer: (c) For the second string, since 40 cm is one-sixth of 240 cm, this string is at its sixth harmonic and hence its fundamental frequency is given by 1,920 Hz divided by 6 i.e. 320 Hz. The fundamental frequency of the rst string which is 160 cm long is thus equal to 320 Hz times 240 i.e 480 Hz. Since the distance between adjacent nodes is 20 cm, which is one-eighth 160 of 160 cm, this string is at its eighth harmonic, and its frequency of vibration is given by 480 Hz times 8 i.e. 3,840 Hz. 18. A string labelled A which is vibrating at a frequency of 3,150 Hz has 6 antinodes between its two ends. Another string labelled B is 25% longer than the string A, and is cut into 5 pieces of equal length. 3 of these 5 pieces are joined up to make a third string labelled C. Which of the following is the frequency of C when it is vibrating with 5 nodes between its two ends (not counting the nodes at both ends)? (Assume that the strings are identical in all respects except length.) (a) (b) (c) (d) 1,512 Hz. 2,100 Hz. 3,500 Hz. None of the above.

Answer: (d) The string A has 6 antinodes and is thus at its 6th harmonic, and its fundamental frequency is equal to 3,150 Hz divided by 6 i.e. 525 Hz. The string B is 25% longer than A, i.e. 420 Hz. The string C and hence its fundamental frequency is given by 525 Hz times 1.1 25 has a length which is three-fths that of B, and therefore its fundamental frequency is equal 5 to 420 Hz times 3 i.e. 700 Hz. When C is vibrating with 5 nodes, it will have 6 antinodes and
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hence will be at its 6th harmonic. Its frequency will thus be equal to 700 Hz times 6 i.e. 4,200 Hz. 19. An open pipe which has 3 nodes between its two ends is vibrating with the same frequency as a string which has 4 nodes between its two ends (not counting the nodes at both ends). The open pipe is then made into a closed pipe of the same length by closing one end of the open pipe. If the fundamental frequency of the string is 390 Hz, what is the frequency of the closed pipe as it vibrates with 3 nodes between its two ends (not counting the node at one end)? (a) 1,950 Hz. (b) 2,275 Hz. (c) 3,250 Hz. (d) None of the above. Answer: (b) The string has 4 nodes and hence has 5 antinodes, and is thus at its 5th harmonic. If its fundamental frequency is 390 Hz, its 5th harmonic frequency will be given by 390 Hz times 5 i.e. 1,950 Hz. This is the same frequency as that of the open pipe with 3 nodes and hence at its 3rd harmonic, so the fundamental frequency of the open pipe is equal to 1,950 Hz divided by 3 i.e. 650 Hz. The closed pipe with the same length as the open pipe will have a fundamental frequency half that of the open pipe which is 650 Hz divided by 2 i.e. 325 Hz. When the closed pipe vibrates with 3 nodes, it will be at its 7th harmonic, and its frequency will be equal to 325 Hz times 7 i.e. 2,275 Hz. 20. The spectrum of a string vibrating at a fundamental frequency of 180 Hz shows all its harmonics up to the 11th harmonic. The spectrum of a vibrating closed pipe also shows its fundamental frequency and all its harmonics up to its 11th harmonic. The 6th line from the left in the spectrum of the string has the same frequency as the 5th line from the left in the spectrum of the closed pipe. What is the frequency of the 6th line from the left in the spectrum of the closed pipe? (Assume that the frequencies in each spectrum increase from left to right.) (a) 1,320 Hz. (b) 1,220 Hz. (c) 720 Hz. (d) None of the above. Answer: (a) The 6th line from the left in the spectrum of the string is its 6th harmonic which will have a frequency of 180 Hz times 6 i.e. 1,080 Hz. The 5th line in the spectrum of the closed pipe is its 9th harmonic, as it only has odd harmonics. If this 9th harmonic also has a frequency of 1,080 Hz, the fundamental frequency of the closed pipe is given by 1,080 Hz divided by 9 i.e. 120 Hz. The 6th line in the closed pipes spectrum is its 11th harmonic, whose frequency is thus equal to 120 Hz times 11 i.e. 1,320 Hz. 21. A certain folk music string instrument emits a musical note which has a spectrum showing all its harmonics up to the 12th harmonic. On comparing the spectrum of this instrument with the spectrum of a square wave, you notice that the 4th line from the left in the square wave spectrum has the same frequency as the 3rd line from the left in the spectrum of the musical instruments note. If the fundamental frequency of the musical instruments note is 420 Hz, what is the fundamental frequency of the square wave? (Assume that the frequencies in each spectrum increase from left to right.) (a) 120 Hz.
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(b) 180 Hz. (c) 315 Hz. (d) None of the above. Answer: (b) The 3rd line from the left in the musical instruments spectrum is its 3rd harmonic, which will have a frequency of 420 Hz times 3 i.e. 1,260 Hz. The square wave does not have even harmonics, and hence the 4th line from the left in its spectrum is its 7th harmonic. If this 7th harmonic has a frequency of 1,260 Hz too, the fundamental frequency of the square wave will be given by 1,260 Hz divided by 7 i.e. 180 Hz. 22. A closed pipe is vibrating with 5 nodes between its two ends (not counting the node at one end) at a frequency of 1,650 Hz. This pipe is then cut into 7 pieces to make one short closed pipe and 6 short open pipes of equal length. 4 of the short open pipes are then joined together to make a longer open pipe. What is the frequency of this longer open pipe when it vibrates with 4 nodes between its two ends? (a) (b) (c) (d) 1,050 Hz. 2,000 Hz. 4,725 Hz. None of the above.

Answer: (d) The closed pipe has 5 nodes and is thus at its 11th harmonic, and hence its fundamental frequency is equal to 1,650 Hz divided by 11 i.e. 150 Hz. An open pipe of the same length would have a fundamental frequency twice this i.e. 300 Hz. The longer open pipe created from the 4 short open pipes is four-sevenths of the length of the closed pipe, and hence would have a fundamental frequency given by 300 Hz times 7 i.e. 525 Hz. When this open 4 pipe has 4 nodes, it will be at its 4th harmonic and its frequency will be equal to 525 Hz times 4 i.e. 2,100 Hz. 23. Which of the following gives the correct sequence of the following pipes arranged in increasing order of their frequencies? (i) The seventh harmonic frequency of a closed pipe of length s cm. (ii) The eleventh harmonic frequency of a closed pipe of length 74s cm. (iii) The sixth harmonic frequency of an open pipe of length 53s cm. (iv) The seventh harmonic frequency of an open pipe of length 94s cm. (a) (b) (c) (d) (ii), (iv), (i), (iii). (iv), (ii), (i), (iii). (iv), (ii), (iii), (i). None of the above.

Answer: (b) Let f Hz be the fundamental frequency of a closed pipe of length s cm. Its seventh harmonic frequency is therefore equal to 7f Hz. A closed pipe of length 74s cm will f s have a fundamental frequency given by f Hz times 4 i.e. 47 Hz, and its 11th harmonic will 7s 4f 44f have a frequency given by 7 Hz times 11 i.e. 7 Hz. A closed pipe of length 53s cm will have f s a fundamental frequency equal to f Hz times 3 i.e. 35 , which means that an open pipe of 5s f 5s length 3 cm will have a fundamental frequency double this i.e. 65 Hz. Its sixth harmonic 36f 6f frequency is hence given by 5 Hz times 6 i.e. 5 Hz. Finally an open pipe of length 94s cm f f will have a fundamental frequency given by 65 Hz times 53s divided by 94s i.e. 120 Hz which 135 8f 8f f can be reduced to 9 Hz. Its seventh harmonic frequency is given by 9 Hz times 7 i.e. 56 9 Hz. The pipes in order of increasing frequency are therefore (iv), (ii), (i) and (iii).
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24. A violinist whose violin strings are properly tuned in Just fths, with its A string at 440 Hz, plays a musical note which causes a sound wave to travel from her violin to a member of the audience at a speed of 330 metres per second. If the musical note is one octave above the frequency of the E string of her violin, what would be the wavelength of this sound wave? (a) 0.25 metres. (b) 0.375 metres. (c) 0.5 metres. (d) None of the above. Answer: (a) The E string of the violin is exactly a Just fth above the A string, and hence 3 its frequency is equal to 440 Hz times 2 i.e. 660 Hz. The note one octave above this would have a frequency equal to 660 Hz times 2 i.e. 1,320 Hz. This is also the frequency of the sound wave which has a speed of 330 metres per second, and hence the wavelength of the sound wave must be equal to 330 metres per second divided by 1,320 Hz i.e. 0.25 metres. 25. Standing between you and a high vertical cli is a hunter with a shotgun, such that the line from you to the hunter is perpendicular to the cli. The hunter res a shot from his shotgun, and 0.2 seconds after you see the ash of the shotgun blast, you hear the sound of the shotgun which reaches you directly. If the distance between the hunter and the cli is 74.25 metres, how long after you see the ash will you hear the echo of the shotgun from the cli? (Assume that sound travels at a speed of 330 metres per second, and that you see the shotgun ash at the same time as when the shotgun is red.) (a) 0.20 seconds. (b) 0.45 seconds. (c) 0.65 seconds. (d) None of the above. Answer: (c) Since the direct sound of the shotgun takes 0.2 seconds to reach you, the distance from the hunter to you is equal to 330 metres per second times 0.2 seconds i.e. 66 metres. The distance between the hunter and the cli is 74.25 metres, so the echo has to travel backwards by 74.25 metres, then forwards by 74.25 metres plus 66 metres to reach you, a total of 214.5 metres. The time taken by the echo is thus equal to 214.5 metres divided by 330 metres per second i.e. 0.65 seconds.
END OF TEST PAPER