Frequency & Pitch

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This lesson is part of the Fundamentals of Sound & Music module.


  • Student will be able to define the difference between a sinusoidal and complex wave.
  • Student will be able to derive a harmonic series given a fundamental pitch.
  • Student will be able to identify whether a sound is harmonic or not on a spectrogram, frequency graph, and oscilloscope.
  • Students will understand how frequency relates to the aural concept of pitch.
  • Students will understand how frequencies of multiple waveforms interact.
  • Students will understand the difference between absolute and relative pitch.



Listening & Videos[edit]


Class Activities[edit]

  • Discussion and definition of frequency, pitch, amplitude, and waveform diagrams.
  • Investigation of variables using waveform diagrams.
  • Demonstration of the combination of two sounds (inducing beats), and the visualization of the process as waveform diagrams.
  • Demonstration of harmonic combinations and decomposition.
  • Use of an oscilloscope and spectrogram to analyze and compare different sounds.
  • Demonstration of harmonic series using brass instruments.


  • Drawing/analyzing waveform diagrams.
  • Harmonics worksheet