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If you have a world map or globe, help the students locate western Africa and specifically the countries Ghana and Nigeria. Tell the students: The peoples of western Africa, for example the Ashanti people of Ghana and the Yoruba people of Nigeria (both of which have talking drums) speak tonal languages. English is not a tonal language. The word "hat" means something you put on your head. If your voice rises while you say "hat", it might sound as if you are asking a question. If your voice falls, it might sound as if you are quite certain of the hat. If your voice rises and then falls, it might sound as if the hat surprises you. If your voice stays even, it might sound as if the hat bores you. But in every case you are talking about something that goes on your head.

If English were a tonal language, though, saying the syllable "hat" while your voice rises might mean something you put on your head; saying it while your voice falls might mean something you put on your feet. Saying it while your voice rises and then falls might mean "come here", and saying it evenly might mean an animal with long ears that hops. Some words in some African dialects are so precisely tonal that you could write out the notes for a particular word on a musical staff.

If you have invited a speaker of a tonal language for a demonstration, this is the best point in the discussion for it. You may also do the Tonal Languages activity at this point, or save it for immediately following the discussion.

Tell your students: So imagine the player of the talking drum. Using his left arm, he can control very precisely the tone of each syllable of his talking drum. What comes out of the drum is not the alphabet sounds of the words, but all the other things that go into a phrase - lengths, rhythms, pitches, rising and falling syllables. In a very tonal language, that is enough. The people who speak the same dialect as the drummer will be able to hear what his drum is saying. But, of course, if they are from a village that speaks with a different accent, they may not be able to understand his drum at all!

At this point you can do some of the activities below, or the "Make a Drum Code" activity from Message Drums , or share any books or sound recordings you have.

Activity: stretching raises the pitch

    Objectives and standards

  • Objectives - Using either rubber bands or available musical instruments, the students will demonstrate or attend a demonstration of the basic acoustics principle that the stretching and tightening caused by pulling on a vibrating object raises its pitch . (For a more complete demonstration project, see Sound and Music ).
  • Music Standards Addressed - National Standards for Music Education standard 8 (understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts).
  • Other Subjects Addressed - The activity also addresses National Science Education Standards in physical science, science and technology, and science in personal and social perspective.
  • Evaluation - Assess student learning by evaluating class participation or asking relevant questions in an oral review or on a written test: e.g. "How can you make a drum sound higher?"

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Noisy learning: loud but fun music education activities. OpenStax CNX. May 17, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10222/1.7
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