The physics of the bongos

Faculty Advisor

Jolene Johnson



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The physics of the bongos

The purpose of this project is to discover the physics behind how sound is created for bongos. The procedure is done by researching the materials necessary for building a set of bongos to determine the physics behind crafting them. Observations are made of how the physics of making them and the materials used impact the sound. A basic physics principle related to the bongos is that the higher the pitch is, the higher the frequency will be. The two different sized drums provide different pitches; the larger one being lower and the smaller one being higher. The tightness of the drum heads effect the pitch because when they are tighter the pitch is higher. Therefore, the frequency is higher too. The factors that influence the outcome of the sound depends on the materials used, along with the construction of the bongos. I present the bongos I made for this project and discus the physics principles in crafting them and the challenges I encountered