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MicroView Learning Kit

08 Piezo Element


In this circuit, we'll again bridge the gap between the digital world and the analog world. We'll be using a Piezo buzzer that makes a small "click" when you apply voltage to it (try it!). By itself that isn't terribly exciting, but if you turn the voltage on and off hundreds of times a second, the buzzer will produce a tone. And if you string a bunch of tones together, you've got music! This circuit and sketch will play a classic tune. We'll never let you down!


Component Reference Image
Piezo Piezo Diagram
Black Jumper Black Jumper Diagram
Red Jumper Red Jumper Diagram

Checkout our breadboard guide and MicroView Pinout for more information.

Breadboard Setup

MicroView Arduino Code

What you should see

You should see - well, nothing; but you should be able to hear a song. If it isn't working, make sure you have assembled the circuit correctly and verified and uploaded the code to your MicroView or see the troubleshooting tips below.

Code to Note

Up until now we've been working solely with numerical data, but the Arduino can also work with text. Characters (single, printable, letters, numbers and other symbols) have their own type, called "char". When you have an array of characters, it can be defined between double-quotes (also called a "string"), OR as a list of single-quoted characters.

char notes[] = "cdfda ag cdfdg gf ";
char names[] = {'c','d','e','f','g','a','b','C'};

One of Arduino's many useful built-in commands is the tone() function. This function drives an output pin at a certain frequency, making it perfect for driving buzzers and speakers. If you give it a duration (in milliseconds), it will play the tone then stop. If you don't give it a duration, it will keep playing the tone forever (but you can stop it with another function, noTone() ).

tone(pin, frequency, duration);


No Sound

Given the size and shape of the piezo element it is easy to miss the right holes on the breadboard. Try double checking its placement.

Can't Think While the Melody is Playing

Just pull up the piezo element whilst you think, upload your program then plug it back in.

Still No Success?

A broken circuit is no fun, send us an e-mail and we will get back to you as soon as we can:

Continue on to circuit 09 Spinning a Motor