Title of project

The physics of the xylophone

Faculty Advisor

Jolene Johnson



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The physics of the xylophone

Xylophones are often one of the first instruments children encounter and learn to play, but even as adults very few of us understand the principles behind how this instrument makes sound. In an effort to better understand the physics principles behind this percussion instrument I have built a simple xylophone. In this poster I will present the physics principles I used to design this instrument and discuss things I had to consider during the building process. I will also present the history of the instrument and how it has evolved through time. Finally I will analyze the sound produced by my xylophone and discuss the similarities and differences compared to other types of xylophones. Through this project I have gained a better understanding of the connections between physics and music.