Instructor Resources : Jeopardy Game

Physics of Music Jeopardy

We used this game to review for the mid-term exam. It is set up as an Excel Spreadsheet and played according to the rules of the TV show. Students may play as individuals or teams, depending on the size of your class. Each student or team will need a different noisemaker. One student will keep score and will also be the referee, determining who rang in first. Be sure to hide the formula bar before you begin. The answers are revealed by changing the fill color of each cell to yellow. The questions are as follows:


1. Who is Pythagoras?

2. Who is Zarlino?

3. Who is Galileo?

4. Who is Fourier?

5. Who is Ptolemy?

Harmonic Series

1. What ratio corresponds to a perfect fifth?

2. What is 110Hz?

3. What is the senarius?

4. What is a minor triad?

5. What is out of tune?


1. What is a major second?

2. What is the quadrivium?

3. What has 5 notes?

4. What are “natural” and “man-made?”

5. What is different about just tuning compared to equal temperament?


1. What are the generator, resonator, and radiator?

2. What are keyboard instruments?

3. What is a natural horn?

4. What is determined by the waveform and spectrum?

5. What is playing the violin with the wood of the bow?


1. What is a sine wave?

2. What is a sawtooth wave?

3. What waveform contains only odd-numbered harmonics?

4. What is characteristic of the violin spectrum?

5. What frequencies are present (and in what strengths) in a sound?