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Pipes of Pan


Strike the largest pipe with the rubber paddle. Try a shorter pipe. How does this affect the sound?

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Music Sound
The pitch of a note varies with the length of pipe. Higher frequencies (shorter pipes) give higher-pitched notes. Strike the pipes in sequence to make a tune.

It Hertz

Hertz (Hz) is the unit we use to measure frequency. The more hertz, the more waves per-second there are. When humans hear more sound waves in close succession, we perceive it as a higher pitch. This video demonstrates the entirety of the average human hearing range and shows how many waves we are hearing at that point.

Making a Note

A neat thing about this exhibit is that each pipe has the frequency of its note written on it – the larger the number, the higher-pitched the sound that the pipe makes. Different musical notes are related to each other by how many times larger the frequency of one note is than the other. For instance, the lowest pipe has a frequency of 52Hz. Can you find a pipe with a frequency double that? Try playing those two notes over and over alternately. In music we call this particular difference an octave and we say that these two notes are the same note in different octaves. See if you can find other notes on here that are double or half the frequency of a different note.

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Look Closer

Welcome to Look Closer, Techniquest's brand new digital tool. We're trialling Look Closer as a way of offering you a closer look at the science demonstrated by many of our exhibits. You'll find visitor sheets, videos, articles on contemporary science as well as fun trails to navigate your way around the exhibition space.

Speak to our Science Communicators to find out more.