Investigate how you can create and change sounds, test how well you can hear different noises and observe the patterns sound can make. See what your ear looks like from the inside and try your hand playing some unusual intruments.
Exhibition requirements

• A gallery or classroom with about 50 sq metres of open floor space
• 12 tables
• Electrical power
• The exhibition must be supervised at all times when in use, preferably by staff accustomed to working in an interactive environment


Download SoundWorks Teachers’ Notes


Exhibit list

Bucket Radio – a radio with its speaker removed is connected to a short peg which oscillates with the broadcast. The vibrations can be felt and the sound amplified by placing objects such as the plastic or metal bowls upon it

Delay Phone – an old fashioned phone records voices and plays back with a short delay almost like an echo, making it difficult to carry on speaking. The length of delay can be altered

Ear Clangers – metal grills are suspended from headphones. Striking them produces loud ringing sounds contrasting with the quiet ones without the headphones on, showing how well sounds travel through solids

Hearing Test – a sound source can be tuned to different frequencies by turning a knob and reading the display in kilo Hertz, to test how high a frequency can be heard

Model Ears – two large scale models show the internal anatomical arrangement of the internal and external ear, and can be dismantled into three parts then reassembled

Sound Patterns – by speaking into either of two different microphones, the patterns of the sounds can be observed on the screen of an oscilloscope

Resonance – the importance of resonance in the production of sound can be investigated by using pairs of glockenspiels and wooden drums, one of each of which has been dampened to prevent vibration

Stereo Hearing – by listening to a radio through a number of different length tubes, the difference in volume and the timing in each ear affects where the sound appears to be coming from

Tea Chest Bass – a string connects the centre of a large hollow box to the top of a stick. Plucking it while pulling back the stick to vary the tension, produces a variety of notes

Tube Tangle – three tubes are tangled together with opening at each end. Try to find which end connects with which, observing the way sound travels along each tube

Vibrating String – a piece of string is attached inside one end of a tube to a speaker at the other. By adjusting the frequency the string settles into different patterns of standing waves. Wave By striking a large spring inside a tube, the nature of sound waves can be observed