Friday, May 2, 2014

City Science Kids Presents Episode #11: The Science of Sound, Keyboard Style!

And now without further ado, please enjoy our cool new (and very long overdue) episode that explains how pianos & electronic keyboards make sound!

When we started shooting this episode, winter was still raging on the streets of Brooklyn. We wanted to stay cozy and dry so we decided to explore a nice warm indoor theme. And since there is a piano living at our house, we decided to open it up and see what we could discover inside it.

A big fat special thanks for this episode goes to Josh Kirsch of Kirsch Electric—a company that composes music for many of the commercials you see on TV and also for movies. Josh knows a ton about the Moog (the electric keyboard you see in the episode) and synthesizers, because he uses them for his work.

For all you straight-up piano lovers out there, perhaps you already know that the first piano was made in 1709 by a man named Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori. He made harpsichords first, but he realized these instruments had a problem—you couldn't make them play softer or louder, only at the same volume. His first piano changed all that. The piano pictured below was made by Cristofori in 1722.

Do you know any fun facts about pianos and other keyboards? Write in and let us know!


  1. Hi Lela: Fascinating! Just received my very own praying mantis egg case which will be on display at PS3's Spring Fling next Saturday May 10 along with 100 live lady bugs and a bunch of red wiggler worms. Hope to see you soon,
    Cristina Latici

    1. It's so great to hear from you, Cristina! Wow, never have seen a praying mantis case. If it hasn't hatched by the time Spring Fling happens, let me know and I would love to pay a visit!