Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Your Ear is Amazing Part Two

Good Day!

Time for part two, the how the ear understands music!

 This amazing video

And your amazing ear consists of an eardrum, tiny bones, and the cochlea. Today we will see how the cochlea understands music, pitch, chords, and tamper. Lets start off with pitch:

from Google
Pitch: The quality of a sound governed by the rate of vibrations producing it

The "rate of vibration" is called frequency. The frequency dictates what sound you hear. For each pitch or note there is one frequency. For example Middle C is 256 Hz about. This number corresponding to a certain group of hairs in the cochlea.

Now every pitch creates things called overtones. For Middle C the overtones are at 256*2 = 512 Hz. and  256*3 = 768 Hz. and ... you get the idea. For every multiple of the frequency a overtone is made. Your ear hears these tones if they are there or not. The hairs in the cochlea that hear 512 and 768 are triggered when a sound a 256 is played, but not as loud. Sound waves and their overtones look like this:
Harmonics = Overtones

A chord is made by playing notes and its overtones. so if you play 256 and 512 and 768 at the same time you get a major chord. You can also use different fractions to make different chord like 256, 256*3/2 = 384 and 512 to make a chord.

Music simply is made up of notes and cords that are just sets of frequencies which hairs in your cochlea translates to electrical signal for your brain to figure out. Music is fun and crazy.

I hope you learned something and enjoyed our blog. This is the last post, sorry if you were looking for more Sound Fun.

~The Sound of Silence Team

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