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what does a flutes sound wave look like?
- charlie (age 11)
If you could see how the air is moving when a flute is played, you would see something very close to a sine wave
This is caused as some air molecules are compressed, or forced to take
up a smaller amount of space. When this air go back to it's normal
amount of space, the air next to it compresses, and you get a wave.
All musical instruments give variations on this, but a flute is
the closest to an actual sine wave. Different waveforms allow you to
distinguish between the various sounds different instruments make. The
louder they are, the bigger the wave is (in amplitude).
(republished on 07/29/06)
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