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Peer Review

Sound Waves and Music



Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Nov 26, 2002 by Music
Overview: Sound waves and Music is a site that contains five lessons on the physics of sound. The topics for each lesson are: The Nature of a Sound Wave, Sound Properties and Their Perception, Behavior of Sound Waves, Resonance and Standing Waves, and Musical Instruments. This site contains text, illustrations and animations. The site also includes quizzes and tutorials.
Type of Material: Instructional package.
Recommended Uses: This site contains a series of ready to use lessons on the physics of sound waves. It can be used as complete self-contained lessons, as support material for a music technology class or as reference material.
Technical Requirements: This site works well with any computer with an online connection.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The learning goals of this site are to impart an understanding of the physics of sound waves and how they are produced in musical instruments.
Target Student Population: This site is directed at high school physics students but is also an excellent resource for college level music technology students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A knowledge of high school physics would facilitate a student's understanding of the information contained in this site.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Sound Waves and Music is an excellent presentation of the physics of sound waves. The information is clearly organized into a progressive series of five lessons. The text, illustrations and animations are clear, concise and accurate.
Concerns: The lack of audio examples is a drawback to this site.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This site works best if the student works through it progressively as each lesson builds on the ideas and concepts presented in earlier lessons.
Concerns: The text for this site may be a little densely written for an introductory acoustics class or college music majors who may not have a strong physics background. Formating the text into shorter blocks and reducing the use of bold text on the animation pages would improve readability.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This site is easy to use for both students and teachers.
Concerns: Navigating through the site would be improved if the navigation column on the left side of the window remained stationary while scrolling through a given page.

Other Issues and Comments: None.