Explore different kinds of music, different ways to make music, and the science behind music!
Chrome Music Lab
Explore chords and the circle of fifths! What do you notice as you go around the circle? What do you notice when you play the chords of your favorite song?
What notes do the harmonic series make? What intervals can you find? Can you play a melody you know already with these notes?
Wassily Kandinsky was an artist that had synesthesia. He not only saw colors - he heard them! What pieces of music can you create out of your art?
Melodies can move in all sorts of ways - upwards or downwards, stepping or skipping. What happens when the tempo gets faster or slower?
Oscillators vibrate at different frequencies. How does the sound change when the waveform changes? Can you find the higher and lower sounds?
What does music look like? Listen to five different pieces of Western European Art Music. What happens if you change the piano into a synth? What happens if you record a percussion sound? What happens if you record your voice? (Note: the iPad cannot record on this site.)
How does the meter affect the rhythms of music? Can you play along with your own found sounds with the instruments on the screen? Can you create your own rhythms to perform? What happens if you try to do the same pattern on every set of timbres?
Sound travels through the air by vibrating the molecules. What do the soundwaves look like when they are vibrating a lot of molecules? What does one molecule look like when the sound vibrates it? How do the vibrations differ between low and high pitches?
A spectrogram sees frequencies. Compare and contrast the example sounds - what is the difference between birdsong and a trombone, or a harp and a flute? What does your voice look like?
Warning: this site does not work on iPads, and is a little glitchy on phones.
What happens to the sound of a string if only half of it is vibrating? What about four fifths? Can you play the notes from highest to lowest? Can you identify all the fractions you hear?
What would happen if you could record your voice on a record player? Make a recording and speed it up, slow it down, and hear it backwards. Can you learn how to say music and words both forwards and backwards?
Google Creatability/Doodles/Arts and Culture Projects
Can a computer learn how to make music? Using your mouse, keyboard, or even a MIDI keyboard, play a melody on the piano. Then the computer will create an answering phrase. What do you notice about the A.I.'s choices?
Can you solve the musical puzzles to help Beethoven reach his goal? Have you heard those pieces of music before? How do they make you want to move?
Clara Rockmore helped improve and create the modern theremin. Do you know what a theremin is? Explore the sounds it can make. What melodies are easy to play? What melodies are difficult to play? How do you think a theremin works?
Hip hop is an important form of American music. Can you explore the Doodle to find out how it started? What two records created your favorite mix? Did you figure out how to change the tempo, scratch, and unlock all the goals?
Did you know that you can use almost any sound to create music? Try creating different beats using sounds organized by an A.I. Who can create a better pattern - you or the computer?
What would it be like to have synesthesia? This application from Google Arts and Culture tries to answer that question with famous artist Vassily Kandinsky's work Yellow-Red-Blue. Do you like the sounds chosen by the developers? How could you turn this painting into movement?
Where does an mbira come from? How does it make sounds? What else do you notice about the mbira and mbira music?
Note: This site does not work on iPad!
What are the different ways we can see sound? What do the sounds of different instruments look like to scientists? What else can you do?
Note: the microphone part of this app does not work on an iPad.
Draw a picture by touching the screen. What does it sound like?
Can you dance a piece of art and then change it into music?
NYU Music Experience Design Lab
How does a mixing board work? What about different types of microphones? Sampling? Take a peek and explore these questions and more with Musedlab's Soundbreaking Tech tools.
Play with music from Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream: Music of Two Worlds. Choose an instrument and drag the dot around to explore the music. It will even save your path so you can listen again while moving to the music! What else can you do here?
Create your own variation of Benjamin Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra." What's your favorite combination?
Trace your own path through Jean Sibelius' Lemmikäinen, En Saga, and Finlandia. Then have the app play the music while you move. What do you notice?
Move the character around the different moods - if you press the question mark, it will give you more details about what the squares mean. What pathway did you choose? Can you move to the path you chose?
Other Amazing Sites Around the Web!
How does a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) actually work? How are sounds layered together to make pop music? Learn how through this site.
Learn about ecosystems and animal sounds using Beastbox! What does the beat sound like if you only use creatures from its ecosystem? What kind of rhythms and sounds happen when you mix ecosystems up?
Try different combinations of beats, effects, melodies, and voices. How do these sounds make you want to move?
Note: This site will not work on an iPad.
Music doesn't just have to be in duple or triple - meters can be mixed! Try out different combinations of 2's and 3's using this Phil Tugla-inspired Cucumber Pickle Machine.
How can circles make music? How can differently-sized circles create rhythms? Does a rhythm that looks appealing sound appealing?
Use the loops provided to try mixing your own beats. What combination is your favorite? How do these combinations make you want to move?
Use fractions to create a repeating ostinato. What colors sound best when they are stacked?
Put the sounds of two different instruments together and see what they sound like. What's your favorite?
This is probably the only link on this site meant just for kids! Try out different ways of exploring music with the help of popular PBS characters! What interesting things did you find?
Click the numbers and listen to what different rhythms sound like together. (If you hit the drum next to the 11, you can even change the sounds!)
What is your favorite combination?
Draw something, and then hear what it sounds like. You can change the size of the loop or the waveform to create different textures.
Can you clap, pat, or snap the body percussion as it appears? Try it quickly, slowly, or with different meters!
Click the dots to turn lights on and off. Can you figure out what the dots do and how to control them?
Explore popular Western European art music made for the piano. What happens if you press the keys on your keyboard quickly? Slowly? What happens if you play a piece that is supposed to be slow quickly? How do these sounds make your body move?
Create beats by dragging the boxes to the grid. What kinds of rhythms can you make? How do they make you want to move?