I am sure most of you readers will not be interested in my mathematical marvels, but I am thrilled to death. Well… I was studying the Sound Reference Handbook by Yamaha today (as a part of my quest to get more technical knowledge of sound) and I made an amazing discovery!  I was thrilled today to discover that our ears interpret sound logarithmically! Ah logarithms… I sigh with fond memory of many math classes 🙂 … Here is the graph of a logarithm…

Log base 10 of X

What does it mean? Well, I am pleased to tell you that our ears interpret equal distance between octaves of sound. (Low A versus high A) However, octaves are actually in a 2:1 ratio! Every time you jump an octave, the distance between the two notes doubles! Technically it is not distance but actually the speed of the waves of sound double! For example, the note ‘A’ is at 440 hz (or 440 wave cycles per second), jump an octave, 880, then 1720, then 3540 and so on. But although the distance doubles each time, our ears perceive it as the same! It is fascinating how God has created the human ear. I love it!


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Filed under Life, Mathematics, sound

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