It's About Chime
Duration: 2-3 weeks

Downloadable Project Sheet

The “It's About Chime” Project

The goal of It’s About Chime is to have the students explore the mathematics & physics behind sound waves and wind chimes.  The students will engineer chime machines that ride the wind to produce melodic tunes for enjoyment.

Scope of Work

Every team of two (2) students is responsible for creating a tuned wind chime that will be on display and for sale at a local farmer’s market.  The following materials & tools will be provided for analysis:
-- Wood Platform(s) & Clapper(s)
-- 1/2” Galvanized Conduit (10ft)
-- Heavy Nylon Fishing Line
-- Pipe Cutter or Hacksaw
-- Power Drill & 1/8” Drill Bits
-- Compound Punch & Jigsaw
-- Sandpaper for Metal or Files
-- Tape Measures & Goggles
-- Stain, Paint & Exterior Polyurethane

-- Electronic Chromatic Tuners


Master Action Plan
Initial Hand Sketch
Reference Pipe
Pipe Dreams
Final Detailed Design
Wind Chime
Work In Progress (WIP) Meetings & Emails
Individual Digital Portfolio

Soundwaves: The Art of Sampling NEW!
Permission Slip NEW!



The Master Action Plan must:
-- Have ALL detailed items for the successful completion of the project
-- Reflect weekly benchmarks via the dates
-- Have team member assignments
-- Be kept up-to-date
-- Be completed before working on the Initial Hand Sketch

The Initial Hand Sketch must:
-- Label all the parts of the wind chime
-- Portray the overall style
-- Be completed before given the Reference Pipe material
-- Exceeding Expectations:  Create a design that is not traditional (i.e. Multiple Tiers, spiraling, etc.)

The Reference Pipe must:
-- Play any musical note
-- Maximize amplitude
-- Be determined before working on your Pipe Dreams
-- Exceeding Expectations: Tune the pipe to a specific musical note

The Pipe Dreams must:
-- Predetermine the lengths of all the pipes
-- Use at least 9½ ft of the 10 ft conduit (not including the Reference Pipe)
-- Predetermine the location of the pipes to maintain balance
-- Play at least 4 different notes
-- Be completed before working on the Final Detailed Design
-- Exceeding Expectations: Create pipes that go up and/or down an octave

The Final Detailed Design must:
-- Show all the dimensions & views necessary to create the Wind Chime
-- Be scaled
-- Include partners’ names
-- Be completed before given the materials
-- Exceeding Expectations: Create the drawing using a Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) program

The Wind Chime must:
-- Be balanced & have maximum amplitude
-- Be ready for display at a local farmer’s market
-- Include a short & simple explanation (w/ images) of the applicable mathematics & physics
-- Exceeding Expectations: ???

The Work In Progress (WIP) Meetings & Emails must:
-- Have an up-to-date Master Action Plan PRINTED/ATTACHED
-- Establish completion of Benchmarks
-- Express via email or during private meetings regarding WIP problems with partnerships

Understanding of Proposal & Initial Master Action Plan
Initial Hand Sketch, Reference Pipe, Pipe Dreams, & Final Detailed Design
Wind Chime, Revision, & Digital Portfolio

The Digital Portfolio must:
-- Include images of the Initial Hand Sketch, Final Detailed Design, & Wind Chime
-- Include a short & simple explanation (w/ images) of the mathematics & physics behind the Wind Chime
-- List of ALL the pipes' lengths, frequencies, & musical notes NEW!
-- Have working hyperlinks to the Final Master Action Plan
-- Have a reflection discussing how physics played a role in the successes and/or struggles during the project
-- Exceeding Expectations: Include images during the build process

Soundwaves: The Art of Sampling at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla looks at a specifically late 20th-century manifestation of the conjunction of art and sound, and features artists in MCASD’s collection, such as Tim Bavington, Celeste Boursier-Mougenot, Sean Duffy, Julio Cesar Morales, Dario Robleto, and Steve Roden, who appropriate the musical process of sampling in their work, either through the incorporation of found sound or through visual and material references.



Grading Criteria

Downloadable Scoring Sheet

The students will be working in teams of two (2), but they will each receive an individual grade. The varying weights for the following criteria will determine their overall score.
-- Use and Explanation of Math & Physics Concepts
-- Thoughtfulness & Thoroughness
-- Work Ethic & Behavior
-- Deadlines & Deliverables
-- Exceeding Expectations


By participating in It's About Chime, the students are agreeing to all the safety issues discussed in class, when authorized tools are in use.

Additional Info

What Is A Wave?
Moving Waves
The Nature Of A Wave
Longitudinal & Transverse Wave Motion
Electromagnetic Spectrum
Sound Waves vs. Radio Waves
How The Radio Spectrum Works
Radians - Wikipedia

Student Work

Sample Chimes with Sound [1] [2]

© Copyright 2004 Alfred Solis. All Rights Reserved.