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How to Use a Buzzer to Play Music with Raspberry Pi Pico

With a cheap piezo buzzer, you can set alarms or play whole tunes.

Whether you’re building a game that beeps when you lose a turn, an alarm clock that wakes you up or just a cute display that plays 8-bit music, a low-cost piezo buzzer can be a great part of your Raspberry Pi Pico project. The extremely-cheap buzzers — you can often find them for less than $1 apiece — are dead-simple to program in MicroPython and can even vary the frequency to produce musical notes.

There are two types of piezo buzzers: active and passive. Active buzzers will make noise if they are just hooked up to power with no microcontroller involved while passive ones will not. Passive buzzers are preferred for this kind of project because they offer a better range of sounds, though in our testing, both worked.

Below, we’ll show you how to wire the Raspberry Pi Pico to a piezo buzzer and program it in MicroPython to play a short tune.

Here’s what you need
Raspberry Pi Pico: See our article on how to set up Raspberry Pi Pico.
Passive Piezo Buzzer: We used these, but any will do. An active buzzer may also work.
Two jumper wires: We used female-to-female jumpers, but if you are also using a breadboard, you’ll need male-to-male jumpers.”

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