A guitar produces a lower pitch when you do not press any fingers against a string while plucking it because a longer string vibrates more slowly.


Sound is caused by the vibration of a medium (usually air) and it travels in waves. In this KS2 Science quiz we open our ears to hear all about sound!

When you hear a sound your ear is picking up a vibration in the air. The energy from the vibration travels in waves - when these waves travel to your ears and then to your brain, you hear the sound. When someone plays a guitar, you can see the vibrating strings and hear the sounds they produce - low, medium and high pitch. It's not just air that can carry sound waves - in fact, solids are the best medium for transmitting sound and liquids are also better at it than air is! Sound can also bounce off solids - when this happens we hear an echo. An echo is a reflection of a sound wave.

Do you know how instruments can make higher or lower pitched sounds, or which unit measures sound volume? How much do you know about sound? 'Hear' is the place to test your knowledge of this form of energy - in this Sound quiz!

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  1. Why does a guitar produce a lower pitch when you do not press any fingers against a string while plucking it?
    The shorter you make the string (by pressing your finger against it), the higher pitch you will hear when you pluck the string
  2. Sound waves can be reflected, transmitted or what else?
    Soft, flexible, fibrous materials can often absorb sound - these materials are good for soundproofing
  3. Which unit is sound frequency measured in?
    1 Hertz = 1 vibration per second
  4. Which musical instruments produce lower pitches?
    Large, thick, or loose strings also produce a lower pitch, as do longer instruments or strings
  5. Which unit is the intensity (loudness) of a sound measured in?
    Sounds above 85 decibels can damage your ears - concerts, loud MP3s and motorbikes all reach levels higher than this
  6. When something vibrates quickly, it makes high frequency waves. You hear this as what kind of sound?
    High frequency vibrations make high pitched sounds and low frequency vibrations make low pitched sounds
  7. Sound waves can be reflected off solid objects. When this happens, what do we hear?
    Have you ever heard your voice echo? Large, empty rooms, such as in a cathedral, are great places for echoes
  8. What can sound travel through?
    Sound can travel through anything that can vibrate - this is described as the 'transmission' of sound
  9. When a sound wave hits your ear, it makes the air in your ear vibrate. These vibrations cause what part of your body to vibrate?
    The ear drum makes three tiny bones move and these pass the vibrations on to the cochlea. The cochlea sends signals to the brain which we hear as sound
  10. Which travels fastest, light or sound?
    Light travels faster than sound - 874,000 times faster!

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